Ken Thomas Starch-Smart Blog

Ken chronicles his fascinating journey as an engineer in charting and graphing himself into a whole foods plant based low fat dynamo!

Be Careful What You Pray For!

Be Careful What You Pray For!

A few years ago my wife and I was held over in an airport due to weather canceling our flight. This was disruptive for a lot of people, creating a very crowded, stagnant atmosphere. After having investigated every square inch of the airport; every shop, magazine stand, building architecture, etc., and boredom just beginning to set in, we were approached by a young lady. Her approach made me feel uneasy as she seemed over determined, much like a classic door-to-door solicitor. She started asking me all kinds of questions. I started to feel like I was being interviewed. As it progressed, it felt more like an interrogation. Eventually, she asked what I was listening to. I get that question a lot. I wear a hearing-aid with earbuds that is often mistaken for an iPod. I told her that I was listening to her. As the standard confused look morphed over her face, I explained that I have a hearing birth defect and standard hearing-aids designed for hearing loss doesn’t work for me. Her reaction was a little puzzling as she seemed appalled. Most people are just curious. Her “interrogation” continued until most all of my other birth defects and Type-1 diabetes was revealed.

After a brief pause, she asked if she could have my hand. I was a bit taken back by such a request, so I asked why. She said to pray. “Pray?” I asked, “Pray for what?” She said, “For you!” I was mystified. I asked for clarification, because I had no idea where that came from. She said that the power of prayer could heal me of the diabetes, scoliosis, hearing, celiac, etc. …

I was struck in pause for a moment puzzled by the thought. Eventually, I realized that she was viewing my life from a totally different angle. With that, I blurted out, “Ohhh, Nooo, no, no!” “I don’t want to be healed!” None of these “defects” are defects. They have all enriched my life – they are not bad thing! They are gifts! They are blessings! I went on to explain that the Type-1 diabetes gave me an education in nutrition that has given me health and vitality far beyond what I would ever have if I were not diabetic. The scoliosis taught me exercises that have strengthened my back beyond what it would be if I did not have scoliosis. The hearing defect caused me to be a recluse geek, which made me immune to social pressures regarding my diet. Being a geek put me in an engineering career field where I designed and built this custom hearing-aid - curing my reclusiveness.

I told her that it is all our defects that make us perfect!

Her face went blinking eyed expressionless then walked away. Later, as our flights were called and we crossed in the hallway, she said, “good luck with that philosophy.”

It appears to me that the value of life is directly proportional to the level of struggle or effort required to have it. There are people who have won Olympic and other extreme athletic competitions after an unimaginable struggle with polio, amputations, etc. Can you imagine how that must feel? A win, after the effort required to not only overcome a handicap and then surpass “normal”, uncompromised athletes, would be orders of magnitude greater than could ever be realized by a “normal” athlete. Now that… is a true gift.

My personal example of this “philosophy” is miniscule, at best. A far better example is Billy. Please see the documentary about Billy, “Loving Lampposts”. I mean, really! You may find life is much brighter than you thought... You may find that you are more blessed than you imagined!


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  • Ken, I thank you for posting this testimony! That was a LOT of food for thought. Years ago I had a friend who lived in his wheel chair with a degenerative disease that was only going to get worse. Somebody once told him that he did amazingly well considering his 'disability' and he asked "what disability?"... "Most people never have time to sit and think". Well that certainly got me thinking. In many ways we who look at other people as disabled may be the ones with the real disability!

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