I am not a particularly dramatic person. In fact, I get accused of being passive, cool, collected, and other things along those lines, regularly. Evidently I don't register a lot of external emotion during a crisis, so people hang those descriptors on me for better or for worse.
That does not mean I have no feelings or emotions. I just don't pour them out on the sidewalk.
That said, when the doctor used the “c” word on me, I was a bit stunned. I eat a well-balanced diet. I have no vices. And in general, I am quite healthy.
Cancer? The word sort of ricocheted around in my brain. It was skin cancer, which is easily treatable and generally non-life-threatening. Still, I felt as if my body had betrayed me. The doctor assured me it was due to UV exposure from long in my past. No doubt that was all those adolescent sunburns. Yet the offending spot needed to be excised promptly. And so it was. But not without a thorough soul searching on my part.
For a guy who doesn't get out, hang out, or go out, I sure am a busy person. I have a day job building yachts for the rich and famous. I build boats for third world missionaries in my shop on weekends. And I write every moment I can get. My current to-write list is long, like twenty-four or so books long. As a side note, today a whole new book wrote itself in my head as I was pumping gas into the trusty old Blazer.
All that is to say, I had a moment of revelation as I was telling my wife that bump on my forehead was cancer. I discovered that I am mortal!
I have stood face-to-face with my mortality before. But those were particular incidents that took me close to the edge of life and death. In each of those cases, the risk diminished as fast as it had appeared, or I had to recover from the injuries. Either way, it was a brief encounter from my perspective.
The truth of life is, we are all on the brink of death every moment. We just don't see all the potential. With this doctor visit, I was forced to look into the hourglass and realize that fifty-three, eighty-three, or one hundred three are all finite numbers. Sooner or later I will draw my last breath.
I am mortal, but not morbid. I believe, without reservation, in eternal life through faith in Christ. It's not what's on the other side of life that concerns me, it is what I need to do on this side before I am finished!
What changed? Perspective. Since my writing will outlive me, and there is so much more I would like to share, I feel compelled to write more sooner rather than later.
I also have a deep burden for forgotten people in desperate places. How many boat builders are out there working to directly help those people? I don't know. I only know of one. I feel compelled to press harder into that work.
So, where does the extra time come from? I cannot afford to retire from my day job yet, unless everyone I know rushes out and purchases fifty each of my books. That was a little comic relief there. Maybe sleep could be subtracted from my schedule. But, since that probably will not work out, I am left with an unsolvable paradox.
However it must be done, I am determined to write more.