From the Chaplain


I remember one day at the V. A. Hospital in Long Beach that I had been unusually busy all day long.  Even while I was having lunch in the cafeteria, I had a call to go to see a patient on the cancer ward just as soon as possible.  He was not expected to live through the day.  And so, in midafternoon another emergency call was received.  This time it was on one of spinal cord injury wards.  So, I took the fastest way to get there.  I went through the basement because you rarely met anyone on that level.  As I hurried to get there, I passed a lady who was scrubbing the floor.  I hardly noticed her because I was thinking about how to deal with the emergency I was headed toward.  As I passed the lady with the mop in her hand she spoke to me: “How are you, Chaplain?”  Without thinking, I replied, “Fine, how are you?” Her reply was firm: “Blessed, Chaplain, really blessed!” Her words detracted me from my own attitude of having to be so busy all day long.  I asked myself why I didn’t feel as blessed as she sounded.  She helped me to have a much better attitude as I continued to rush to see my spinal cord injured patient.  Today, the words of Dale Carnegie speak to me, and maybe to you: “The tendency to seldom think of what we have but always of what we lack is the greatest tragedy on earth.  Count your blessings—not your troubles!”


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