All Saints Episcopal Church, Hilton Head Island, SC
July 1, 2007
Charlene was her own person; in the midst of doctors and nurses with life and death decisions, and egos to match, Charlene stood out in the small, intense world of the emergency room. Incredibly competent, brash, and herself egocentric, Charlene lived life on the edge, both at the hospital and in her personal life. Doctors gave her a wide berth, nurses offered her that rare reverence for a co-worker, and Charlene... well, she took it all in and dished it out with hardly a wink to compassion or mercy.
As you might have
guessed, I wasn't a fan of Charlene. But that is not to say that I didn't
observe, even at a distance, this nurse who seemingly didn't care about anything
or anybody. No one could ignore Charlene; she begged to be noticed and demanded
that people account for her presence. Love her, admire her, or hate her, she was
a person to be reckoned with.
It was her attitude that caused me to pay attention. She seemed to always be saying -- by her attitude and actions -- "I'm going to live life to the absolute max, no holds barred, no quarter taken." Charlene lived out of the abundance of life...she wasn't about to cheat life even for a second. Name any activity and she would go to the edge and push the envelope inside out. Other doctors and nurses, attracted by that same adrenaline rush of emergency room care, were tame by comparison. Charlene offered a stark contrast between someone living out of the abundance of life and others who seem to live out of the poverty of life.
Age is not the issue but an attitude. It is attitude that either limits the breadth and depth of our lives and the blessings we have received, or sees the huge blessing of life and all that we have as truly being a gift from God.
Many of us, myself included, are not equipped to live as largely and as dangerously as Charlene. I wasn't crazy about Charlene, the person. But she did attract me to her attitude, the attitude that conveyed that she was blessed (my words, not hers) and that her life was abundant and good.
Abundance offers possibilities. Abundance is open to the blessings from God. Abundance sees the world differently. Living out of the abundance of life points us toward giving, because God has given each of us more than we can ever imagine. Living out of the poverty of life, we have been taught that we have very little to offer and that what little we have we are not to share.
It is about an internal attitude that speaks to us about blessing and abundance. Or perhaps we feel so impoverished in every aspect of life that we have very little, perhaps nothing, to share. But I believe we are blessed in every respect. We live in abundance, and in Christ we share.
to top of page ...
If there is no navigation bar present at the left of the screen, click here.