I met a man today that taught me more in 30 seconds than anyone has taught me in a long time.
When you first look at him, you see a man that is disabled. He walks using a cane and cannot use his right leg at all. He came into my office to pick up some school supplies that we had put together for his two young children.
As we were walking, I started sneezing like I had been doing all day, and I jokingly said, “I think I’m allergic to life.” He became very serious and said, “Don’t say that. Life is so sweet. I almost died once, and now every moment is precious to me.”
That statement caught me by surprise, and with a couple small questions he began to tell me his story. He is from Iran, and one day he was in a motorcycle accident. He was in a coma for a month. During this time war broke out in his country and many of his friends his age died. “It is by the grace of God that I was in that accident. If I would not have been in a coma, I would probably have been in the war, and most likely would have died. Then I would not have a family today. I am like this, but that does not matter. I am so thankful to be living.”
Just like that, I watched him struggle out the door with his children’s backpacks. I was in awe; I couldn’t believe what I had seen. So many people that I meet live every day with the victim mentality, that life has cheated them out of the life they feel they deserve. It is true that some very unfortunate things happen to all of us, but we have a choice how we respond to it. This man could have grown bitter, dependent, or angry. He chose however to have joy and to live every moment like he was receiving an invaluable present. In those 30 seconds, I felt like I had been with God.
It takes considerable courage to live like this man does. However, what an incredible testimony he shares with the world by taking all that has happened to him and turning it into praise. I don’t know about you, but I want to live my life like that too.