Monday, June 04, 2007

Macey's Wisdom

“I need to stop worrying about what I don't have and start being thankful for what I do have.” These words were spoken just the other day by Macey King, the seven year old daughter of my friends Scott and Kim. At a certain point in the day, Kim went to check on Macey and she found her in her bedroom praying the rosary. So when Macey was finished with her prayers, she approached her mom and uttered those words of wisdom. It was a thought that must have come to her in prayer.

By the way, Macey has cancer. For the last several months her little body has been ravaged by the effects of chemotherapy. I visited with the Kings at the end of March and personally witnessed Macey’s suffering and heroism, along with Scott and Kim’s strong faith, unshakable hope and unconditional love. At the time, Macey’s throat was filled with soars and she could barely swallow; she had lost her hair and her neck was a bit discolored; and she was obviously skinnier than most children her age. The good news is that the chemo, along with a lot of prayer, has eliminated the tumor. However, she still has more chemo treatments to endure.

The words Macey spoke to her mom teach us a fundamental lesson about life. We all need to take time to ponder the many blessings we have in our lives so that we can be filled with the spirit of gratitude. So often we get caught up in thinking about everything that’s going wrong in our lives. We get caught up in the worries and the problems. We let people get under our skin. We fret about the future and all the things that could go wrong. We get angry as we wait in traffic or lose our patience as we wait in line at the store. All the while our minds are filled with negative thoughts and our hearts are filled with frustration and these serve to suck the joy and energy of life right out of us.

When is the last time you actually spent time in quiet to ponder the many blessings you have in your life? When is the last time you consciously allowed your heart to be filled with the spirit of gratitude for the gifts that God has given you? When is the last time you stopped worrying about what you don’t have and started being grateful for what you do have? Are you a person whose life is permeated with the spirit gratitude?

If you’re the type of person who feels stuck in your problems and is filled with pessimism and frustration, take young Macey’s advice. Gratitude has a way of breaking the pattern of pessimism and frustration. When we are filled with gratitude, there is little room for negativity in our lives. We can even be grateful in the midst of problems by asking, what can I be grateful for in this problem? What lesson can I learn here? What’s good about this problem? How will this problem help me to grow?

So, right now I challenge you: find a quiet spot and spend time in silence to thank God for the gifts and blessings in your life. Really ponder the blessings in your life: your family, friends, gifts, and talents. Write them down. Take as long as you want and just write down all the blessings you can think of. You’ll be amazed at the list and it will help you to foster the spirit of gratitude. And while you’re making your list, don’t forget to add Macey to it.


Blogger JBro said...

Thank you Father Najim. I needed to hear that. Isn't it interesting how a child can be such an example to those of us who think we're so big and grown up, carrying the world's emotions and shame on our shoulders thinking we've got it so bad? It's extremely humbling to imagine a child, so riddled with disease, get down on her knees and pray a rosary without any stimulation. It nearly moves me to tears when I think about how neglectful I have been in my own prayerlife lately. I do not think Macey will ever comprehend the power contained in her one tiny rosary, but if she could, she would be reassured to know that her exclamation of gratitude brought someone a little closer to Jesus.

June 4, 2007 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger nicholas said...

It is surprising to me how a child, especially one who has that kind of suffering, can know what is truly important in life when world leaders and other people who we look at to lead don not even know how to keep peace. This is just another example of how a person needs to think and love like a child to gain the glories of Heaven. I think some times we for get how brilliant and understanding children is. Look at this girl, she has a life threatening disease and she does not blame or complain to God, instead she loves Him and thanks Him for giving her what she has. I get frustrated with God when I am late for a movie or can not make it to a friend's house never mind being faced with death. If only I and the rest of the world could be like a child loving, understanding, and forgiving.
Your Friend in Christ,
Nicholas Robenhymer

June 5, 2007 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger catholicfaith said...

I am one of Macey's older brothers friends. I will not say his name because I don't know if his mother wants his name on the internet. but I just would like to tell macey something:
You are and insperation! You inspire my friends and I more and more everyday! i speak on the beahalf of all of us when I say Macey words can not describe the grace God is giving you right now and how much he loves you. Remember offer every pain, and suffering up to God and he will give you trumendus grace. We all pray for you everyday, and you inspire us so much!
With as much love posible,

May 8, 2009 at 2:21 PM  

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