I wrote my book, Chasing Life: Lessons on Suffering Well while I was traveling with a handful of Abante International colleagues (whom I like to call disciples), following a tumultuous season. I had been dealing with coronary heart disease as well as the aftermath of open heart surgery and a triple bypass. It was during my travels following a slow recovery period that I realized my new normal did not look at all as I had imagined.
Prior to my illness, I was a very active person. I engaged people easily and had lengthy conversations. I was totally hands on and a hard worker. I did not necessarily enjoy the spotlight, and often felt unqualified to lead. Nevertheless, I enjoyed strategizing, being a part of a creative group, and being able to give input with my very own ideas. I had small and big dreams that I never voiced because of a crippling fear of failure that would oftentimes intercept my determination to make things happen. I have learned that many times, we are our worst enemies when it comes to developing, creating, producing, and simply put, enjoying life!
While I was in South Korea, I saw how the culture emphasized learning. So, there were many opportunities to take workshops in various areas like art projects, sports, cooking classes, scholastics, and nature related outings. This quickly inspired me to think outside of the box. Recognizing that I could no longer go on runs, extensive hikes, or long excursions, I decided to take short walks and hikes around nature. That led to taking some creative classes and workshops, and the result is shown below in the photos I have included in this blogpost.
Ever since my open heart surgery, I have traveled extensively. And during my travels, I discovered a new passion for life. What I want to highlight is that beyond the photos, I have learned that you don’t stop living just because you have been given a negative report by the doctors, or because your marriage failed, or because your loved one passed away, or whatever your situation might be. You have to find things that bring you joy to replace what you are no longer able to do. There is so much out there that you could be enjoying, and so much more learning to do. Life is beautiful, therefore, you need to chase it with all your might. My hope for you is that one day you will look back and say, “I lived!” “I have no regrets!”
“I can do all things because Christ gives me the strength.” – Philippians 4:13 (NLV)