Melanoma, Basketball and Listening to God

The last week in January my mom just happened to mention I should call the dermatologist and have something on my face looked at.  Amazingly, and fortuitously, I made an appointment that same day for mid-February.  Not thinking much more of it, I went to the appointment and had a mole taken off my back.  To my great astonishment, less than a week later the dermatologist called me back to tell me it was melanoma and I needed surgery asap.  


The following days were spent figuring out the extent of things.  Thankfully, we found this early and the consensus from the doctors was it has not spread anywhere else.  I had a nice little section cut out of my back yesterday, but I am so grateful to have it done.  I will be seeing the dermatologist on a regular basis now and making sure to keep myself covered in SPF 50!!  


I can’t help but see God’s hand in this experience.  A small remark from my mother.  Taking the time to respond to her suggestion.  Now, hopefully, free from something that could have been so much worse.


This is how God speaks to us in our lives.  Little moments in prayer, through the encouragement of a friend, the love of child.  The question is do we have ears to hear?  Do we take the time to reflect and see his presence in our life?  Or are we too busy plowing through our day to see what is right before us?


Tate ( my favorite basketball coach!) talks about how a point guard has to see the floor.  They can’t keep their eyes down watching the ball as they dribble.  They have to be aware of those around them and where the open court is.  They have to see the defense.  Players also need to listen to their coach if they ever want to improve.  They need to be humble and ready to work.  So it is in our lives.  We can’t be so focused on our everyday tasks, looking only at our feet that we have the ball taken from us and lose control.  We have to lift our eyes and see the wider world around us.  We must see those in our lives that we need to minister to.  We need to see the open court where God is inviting us to experience new things.  We need to see areas we should avoid.  We need to listen to the voice of God and listen for the things he is saying to us in our lives.  We need to be humble and willing to put time and energy in our faith lives, into our prayers lives.  We must be willing to sacrifice if we are going to grow in holiness.


Saying you are a great basketball player isn’t enough.  Even I can claim to be a great basketball player.  (I would be lying!!)   Where do people see the fruits of your hard work?  On the court.  So too in our faith.  I cannot claim to love and know Jesus Christ and never live my faith life out loud.  Am I charitable?  Do I give of my time generously without counting the cost?  Do I share my treasure with those in need?  Do I go to Mass?  Do I spend time in prayer with our Lord?  Do I seek to bring Christ to the world?


We can’t be so focused on the minutia in our lives that we fail to see the bigger picture.  This is not our home.  Heaven is our home.  If we don’t take the time to listen and see God in our lives, and respond, we will find ourselves in a place we do not want to be.    Slow down, take the time to be with God, and find yourself transformed.


Thanks Mom, for being the voice of God and taking care of me even at 40!  This week is dedicated to you and all mothers out there who care for their little (and big) ones!  JMJ