Living with M.S.

"Living with M.S. is sort of like training for a long race. The harder you try, and the longer you keep at it, the stronger you become.
Eventually, looking back, you may be amazed at the power you possessed, even when you had no idea it was within your reach." (Linda Ann Nickerson)


A-Z promising quotes: Talent

A favorite college professor used to say, “Talent is God-given, but abilities are earned.” I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t get away with making such a statement today, but it sure stuck with me.

I think talents are like seeds that are planted inside each one of us at the Creator’s discretion. No one has every gift, but everyone has some. Abilities, on the other hand, seem to come from practicing, rehearsing, and building up condition for a given pursuit.

Enter multiple sclerosis.

What happens to talent and ability when MS strikes?

I am inspired by this quotation from American humorist Erma Bombeck (1927-1996). It reads like an antidote for excuses.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything You gave me.”

Even MS can’t erase all of a person’s talents. It just makes us hunt a little harder for our areas of giftedness and maybe poke around for a new pursuit or two.

Here’s a personal example.

I used to be pretty good at horseback riding. I would ride any horse, anytime, anywhere. I won more than a few blue ribbons in horse shows.

Then MS hit – with vertigo and a vengeance. My balance bobbled. My coordination caved. And my equestrian ability took a nosedive.

Actually, I took a pretty scary nosedive myself. Sure, the horse stood barely 15 hands high, but he pitched me way up in the air by the third buck and sent me plummeting head first into the dirt. I was laid up for months.

My talent and ability in the saddle suffered, along with my confidence up there. It’s been a crazy-long battle, trying to get it back.

At the same time, other pursuits have stepped in. That was five published books and two pending book proposals ago.  It was also a dozen 5K races and a half marathon ago.

So maybe the setback actually sent me a few steps forward in another arena.

That’s what happens – when we refuse to sit still for sitting still. Something’s always gonna move, even if it’s the wheels inside our heads. We’ve just gotta look for it.

I want to arrive in Heaven at a screeching halt, breathless and panting from running a personal best. Even if  I can’t run anymore.

Hey, it’s possible.


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