“Pray First, Aim High,and Stay Focused”

Dear Reader:

Jan Hilton sent me a memorable anecdote from her brother recently. It is one of those little stories that is a “stick-to” kind of story. You can’t seem to get it out of your thoughts. So let me first share her brother’s story with you and then some personal reflections about it.

“Pray First, Aim High, and Stay Focused” 

 There once was a man who had nothing for his family to eat.
> He had an old rifle and three bullets.
>
> So, he decided that he would go out hunting
> and kill some wild game for dinner.
>
> As he went down the road, he saw a rabbit.
> He shot at the rabbit and missed it.
> The rabbit ran away.
>
> Then he saw a squirrel and fired a shot at the squirrel but missed it.
>
> The squirrel disappeared into a hole in a cottonwood tree.
>
> As he went further, he saw a large wild “Tom” turkey in the tree,
> but he had only one bullet remaining.
>
> A voice spoke to him and said,
> “Pray first, aim high, and stay focused.
>
> However, at the same time, he saw a deer
> which was a better kill.
> He brought the gun down and aimed at the deer.
> But, then he saw a rattlesnake between his legs about to bite him,
> so he naturally brought the gun down further to shoot the rattlesnake.
>
> Still, the voice said again to him,
> “I said, ‘Pray, Aim high, and Stay focused.”
>
> So, the man decided to listen to God’s voice.
>
> He prayed, then aimed the gun high up in the tree,
> and shot the wild turkey.
>
> The bullet bounced off the turkey and killed the deer.
>
> The handle fell off the gun, hit the snake in the head, and killed it.
> And, when the gun had gone off, it knocked him into a pond.
>
> When he stood up to look around, he had fish in all his pockets,
> a dead deer, and a turkey for his family to eat.
>
> The snake (Satan) was dead simply because
> the man listened to God.
>
> Moral of the story:
>
> Pray first before you do anything,
> aim and shoot high in your goals,
> and stay focused on God.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

A couple of weeks ago…my oncologist told me that he thought it was time to bring a surgeon back into the team to get another pair of eyes involved… to hopefully add another option.

Since starting the oral chemo treatments….some areas have responded better than others and the radiation oncologist doesn’t want to start radiation treatments again if it can be avoided…to give my skin more time to heal from the last series.

So I was asked if I knew of a surgeon that I preferred. I didn’t… since before my diagnosis…I went for years without taking even an aspirin…never have liked taking any form of medication. That of course has changed drastically….but I was so healthy for so long I took it for granted and never gave the medical world much thought…including doctors or surgeons.

But then I remembered (when my initial surgeon stopped practicing) his wife, who also helped out occasionally as a receptionist, was talking to me casually one day about my future treatments and she mentioned a young female surgeon whom her husband was quite impressed with….I remember writing her name down in case I ever needed it. And now, apparently, I needed it. The last name of the surgeon actually came rushing back to me when I was updating the “Ya’s” (during Jackson’s birthday) about my treatments and then later that weekend…I found the slip of paper…in my jewelry box with her name on it…I had written down over a year ago. Miraculous in itself!

Thursday Honey went with me to meet the new surgeon (thank you so much for doing that Honey!!!) Brooke had called to let me know the night before that she was thinking about me and asked what she should pray for….I responded: “Realistically I think we should pray that she (the surgeon) is kind and compassionate and hopefully can offer a fresh pair of eyes and options to my present situation.” So this was our prayer.

And it was answered…the cancer is what it is…but this young woman surgeon was so kind, so compassionate, and is ready to try to make my situation better on a daily basis. We did a lot of hugging and her kind spirit pervaded the room. There will be tests to see where everything stands…and of course…depending on these results…she will be able to tell me later what options, hopefully, can be made available to me.

No one knows how long he/she will live…but it is the day to day quality of living that is most important and that is what this kind young surgeon wants to do to help me.

“Where three are gathered….” I learned Thursday that between Honey, Brooke’s and my prayers I had met the right surgeon at the right time. I don’t think it was a coincidence…I know it was a God’s Wink…reassuring me that He is still holding my hand.

So until tomorrow… after reading this stirring anecdote…I will remember to “Pray first, Aim high, and Stay focused…on God and life.”

PS You have probably noticed that my blog is shorter today than usual…a tribute to Lincoln’s Gettsyburg Address spoken 148 years ago today.

“568 Tales left to Tell”

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to “Pray First, Aim High,and Stay Focused”

  1. Harriett Edwards says:

    Praying for you and your surgeon. Love you!!!

  2. Theresa says:

    Becky
    You and I both know to look upward and not around us–(the frog story). It went with me on every trip and ended up being shared with some of the people at the NIH (a God wink). Praying for you and your medical support system.
    love ya,
    Theresa

  3. Gin-g Edwards says:

    Becky,
    Just now got to read your blogs for this week and I am so glad that you found the right surgeon for you. God is good. I know that HE will keep you in his care. Love you.

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