“What defines us in life is what we do when we become sick.” ― Steven Magee

Last week the flu hit our homestead. I went down first and hardest. It was the most sick I’ve ever been. From fever to chills to a horrid reaction to Tamiflu, this bout of illness will not soon, if ever, be forgotten.

At around 3 am last Tuesday I pleaded with God. I had one of those all out promise talks people initiate with Him in an hour of need. I vowed to do more for others, serve selflessly and consistently, all if I could be spared pain. Once the fever broke I realized the problem with my approach and the next night, as I sweat profusely, I expressed gratitude. In a pile of germs, alone and vulnerable, I went through the list of everyone and everything I am grateful for. I didn’t ask for help or mercy, but I did put in a request for purpose. I like to know the meaning and mission behind things, especially the flu.

I normally don’t make my writing faith based. I feel like the best way to show people my beliefs is via the content of my character. But I would be remiss if I didn’t tell the truth and the truth is I’ve talked to God a lot this past week.

Being so sick made me think. It’s always in our moments of despair that we recognize the general goodness we often take for granted. Moreover, in sickness we see and dream of the things we seek, feeling renewed inspiration to achieve goals or elevate ourselves accordingly.

I am still working on the 38 project. I can’t chalk it up as a failure until 39. But in my bedridden state I made a list of how close I am to this goal and it got me excited enough to tell God that I’m coming through big for Him and me this year. The flu got me, but the very best of me was never on that bed. The very best of me is soulfully scattered in a lot of places and people.

I’d like to thank Flu A for the humility it bestowed upon me. What a week! What a life! I am feeling defined and determined. Let this be a reminder to not wait until you’re bedridden with pain to find purpose.