Thursday, June 5, 2008

God-given names

The skinny:

1) Next oncology appointment and chemotherapy treatment tomorrow at 12:15 p.m.

2) Still not talking, but hoping this will change after a couple more chemo infusions.

3) Pain level still intense. Mostly controlled with medication, but remains a significant source of stress - your prayers are greatly appreciated! Hoping a couple more chemo infusions will work wonders here as well.

4) Significant sleep again last night!

5) Continually grateful for all the love shown by family, friends and strangers during the biggest challenge of my life.

Not so skinny ...

Have you noticed how it seems almost trendy to denounce television? I know you've experienced it - at work, at a party, at dinner with friends. Some guy begins talking about his favorite show and others chime in quickly. Before you know it, the room is a flurry of excitement over what just happened on last night's it show. Inevitably, though, there's always one who speaks up without being asked and announces, "I don't really watch television." Somehow, his tone suggests that by shunning television he is not only guarding his mind, but also waving a banner against poverty, war, and environmental degradation. I'm not sure how television makes all that possible, but you know the tone of which I speak. You've heard it.

Well, I'm all for protecting the mind from the "vast wasteland," but am here to tell you that I don't intend to do it while I'm couped up at home with cancer. Right now, I am very thankful for television. It is so hard to shut off your brain when going through something like this, but television makes it possible for at least brief moments here and there. In my second week of this homebound experience, I sense an increased savvy developing where my viewing schedule is concerned. I have rediscovered my love of the episodic western. My favorites - Big Valley and Gunsmoke. Encore Western brings me Big Valley at 5:00 p.m. every evening (did I just refer to 5:00 p.m. as evening?!). I was excited when I remembered this yesterday before 5:00 p.m. had passed. This morning, I have done some research and discovered that Gunsmoke is available on TV Land at 2:00 p.m. daily. Most excellent news. Even with cancer, Festus will be funny, and Ms. Kitty always knows what to say.

Of course, Encore Western is also a good place to find film classics. Last night, I watched Dances With Wolves, which brings me to the meat of this post. There's a part where Kevin Costner's character wonders if his given name ever really meant anything. Of course, in Native American culture and many others throughout history, there is deep meaning in a name. I think we miss out on the power of that in our culture. For instance, let's say your parents gave you a name that meant mighty warrior. Don't you think it would make you feel a bit like a mighty warrior? The honor in the name might inspire you to live a life worthy of the moniker.

Do you ever wonder, like Costner's character, what your name means? I'm not talking about the canned meaning listed on the card in the souvenir shop. I'm talking about what your name really means. Most of us were just given a name because the sound of it pleased our parents. What if real meaning is ascribed to our names by the way we live our lives - in our relationship with God, our love for others, in our response to adversity, our readiness to give thanks? If this is true, then we are living meaning into our names every day. I wonder what people think when they hear the name Pat Daniel Smith? What do they think when they hear your name?

I believe God has a name in mind for each of us. May we live lives worthy of those God-given names.

"You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow." -Isaiah 62:2


sean said...

Daniel - found the site now that I have internet in new Jersey. Me and my family are saying nightly prayers for your speedy recovery and your faith and sense of humor is inspiring. You're in good shape - Zakk has an excellent track record with the big guy so no worries mate - please reach out to me if I can help in any way -
You're in our thoughts - sean

patimac said...

Daniel, I love your blog, it is such a witness of your faith. I will be in clinic in the Morning if you need anything. You and your family are in my prayers. Keep up the good work and remember Phil 4:13. Your friend in Christ. Patti Mc

Mom2rayray&colten said...

Big Daddy,

I feel so selfish with not keeping better track of you... I do pray for you every night as do the kids but you know how I am about keeping up with everything on a computer...
I guess I just thought that everything would work out just as you had said and nothing would change and I just needed to prepare for your surgery. Isn't something how God throws us curve balls...
I love reading your inspiring words of wisdom, faith, courage, love of the Lord. I know God is using you but I must say I wish it were in a different way. I don't like you sick and hurting one bit. I find myself getting angry almost about it and I know I shouldn't.
I try and tell myself if Big Daddy can do it, I can.
I miss you like crazy..
Keep your head up and I WILL do a better job keeping mine on track.
Love you,
Big Momma

t said...

When I think of the name Pat Daniel Smith.... I think of courage, strength, faith, happy, joyful, life, light, substance, generous, thoughtful, caregiver, protector, companion, friend.... I think of "coldness-ness-ness-ness," words, scrabble, mountains, runs, smiles, laughter.... I think of worship; I think of God's word; I think of love; I think of Christ.

Just to name a few!

Love, T

Anonymous said...

Daniel, I work with Sean and it has been a while since I saw you last. Sean updated me on what was happening and I want you to know that my family will pray for your recovery and comfort as you battle this. My father-in-law has recently kicked esophageal cancer down for the second time a few weeks ago and we will pray for the same result for you. Your words and thoughts are inspiring and uplifting even to those who may not know you as well. However I feel as if I know so much about you by catching up on what has transpired over the last few weeks. Please do not hesitate to reach out for our support and we look forward to sending prayers upward on your behalf. Remember 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Derek Winfree