It would be very rare if any of you did not know someone who had cancer, or who was affected by it some way. By now, we all know the horrors cancer can cause and the agony of a raod it can be to go through-- and although this horrible disease can seemingly control and overtake lives in a way that is undesirable, it is a sickness like this that spurs events like "Relay for Life" to take place. If I have to find a positive in the hugely negative, I will say that one kicker to a sickness like such is the uniting effect of determination it can cause in families, friends, and communities.
On Saturday, I was able participate on a Relay for Life team to help carry out the symbolic meaning of what cancer patients go through in their "walk" via walking the track and helping with other activities. In preparation for this event, one is required to raise a minimum of $100 (which really isn't asking much), but after doing this for 2 previous years and catching Kristi's enthusiam of the event (as she has been involved with Relay for longer than I have and was a committee member with publicity this year), I decided to shoot for bigger and better with Kristi. We made ourselves "one person" as Taryn-Kristi, and together raised almost $6,000, coming out as the top raisers of the day. It was amazing being able to contribute to such a worthwhile cause, and in such a small way. Our team, the "Toucans," (motto: We "toucan" find a cure), came out as a top raiser with reaching our goal to raise $10,000. The reason for the raising really hit home to me early on in the day, when a cancer patient (who actually goes to our church) walked into the gym full of relayer teams and other survivors, and everyone stood up and clapped for her as she walked to the front with her walker. She had just finished with chemo treatments the day before, and ended up being one of our speakers at the Luminaria services that night. Knowing that our money was going to be going towards cancer research that would directly affect that lady, and so many others who have cancer currently or who will in the future reminded me why events like Saturday and money-raising like what we had been doing was all worth it.
The theme of "Relay for Life" points back to one word: Hope. It is amazing to see so many people united together to fight for a cause that affects so many.
Some of the relayers on our team trying to keep warm!
Kristi and Adam battling it out in some Euchre during a break
Kristi and I after the Luminaria
Kristi and I "being" the picture... we were trying to figure out what facial expressions to go with, and found out after the picture the sign said "Smile and say Boo" - it was probably for the best that we realized that after the picture
Well... let me rack my brain for other tidbits of brilliant information. Hmmm. Ok, spiritual tangent.
Today, in church, I established my new favorite chapter in the Bible. It would be Psalm 139. I am going to paste it below, and then talk about it.
1O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
7Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
8If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
9If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
10Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
11If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
12Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!
18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
19Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
I believe the captivating-ness of this passage gets me in the sense that it envelopes the sweet essence of the Lord knowing us so intimately... and being there with us, no matter what. Let's face it; there is no one in this world who knows us better than Him, and so why does it seem like sometimes our goal would be to replace Him with another "someone" or another "something?" Why does the "search for a soul mate" or other fanciful, wordly idols take place of the One who knows us inside and out, and in whom we should be focusing our every day on pleasing? That gets me, and those questions convict me, because I am guilty as charged when it comes to those inquiries.
This morning, Ted Witzig also quoted a phrase he once heard that went something like this: "Where a man's heart is, that is his god." Sooo true. I challenge you to all ask yourselves, "Where is my heart RIGHT now?" As Christians, let's not lie- we all have our good times, and we all have our not-so-good times. Hopefully, though, it is through those downer times that we learn to rely on God even more, strengthen our faith to a deeper level, or learn to rebound in a way that takes us even higher than ever before.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:" What a request!
"...And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
That's a great note to end on. Love you all. T