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How To Cash In On Your "Ailment Capital'

By Rev. James L. Snyder

Right after the president won his re-election bid for the White House, he made an interesting comment. He said he was going to spend his "political capital" wisely.

At first, I did not understand what he was talking about, but then I began to think about it. All his work in getting re-elected won him a certain amount of influence with the people who helped re-elect him.

I never thought of it that way. But it got me thinking about my own situation, so I began evaluating my capital. It certainly wasn't in my checkbook.

Although I have lots of checks remaining, the bank insisted I didn't have any capital in my account. According to the bank, the only capital I had was in my name.

As I dug around in my life, I discovered I did earn capital and I needed to figure out how to spend it wisely.

The capital I'm talking about is my "ailment capital." My recent illness, which necessitated me going to the hospital, certainly had earned me some spendable capital. The more I thought about it, the more excited I became, almost like putting on a pair of trousers and finding a $20 bill in the front pocket.

I was anxious to begin spending my "ailment capital." After all, my illness had cost me quite a bit and represented a major investment on my part. So now, I intended to get some payback.

My first plan of action was to tell people about my illness. I had rehearsed my story and knew it well. However, it was then I ran up against a block wall. It rather caught me off guard, if you know what I mean.

The first person I met set my plan into action. Carefully I introduced the subject of my stay in the hospital. Much to my bewilderment, they immediately began postulating on their recent visit to the hospital. According to them, their stay in the hospital was much more serious than my stay in the hospital.

I slipped into the conversation, when I had the chance, that I experienced the worse headache while in the hospital.

"Headache?" They almost shouted to me. "You talk about headaches. I had such a severe headache that the nurse gave me enough pain killer to put 12 elephants out of their misery, and it never even touched my headache. The doctor told me that it was the worst headache he had ever seen in his entire life."

When they took a breath, I jumped in and mentioned how high my temperature was.

"High-temperature? You talk about high-temperature; my temperature was so high they had to put me in a tub of ice cubes for three days before my temperature even came down. The nurse told me that it was the worst case of high-temperature she had ever seen in her life."

By this time, I was becoming a little discouraged and wondered if I would ever be able to tell my story. Then I had a brilliant idea. I mentioned that while in the hospital I suffered a severe case of diarrhea. I could not imagine anybody trying to upstage someone with diarrhea. Boy, was I wrong.

"Diarrhea? Did you say diarrhea?" I slowly nodded my head in the affirmative.

"When I was in the hospital I had such a severe case of diarrhea that I stayed on the toilet for 30 days without getting up. My doctor told me it was the severest case of diarrhea he had ever read about."

By this time I despaired ever cashing in any of my "ailment capital." It seems such a shame for all that capital to go to waste. I thought I should give it at least one more try.

Refusing to quit just yet, when the next lull in the conversation came I was ready.

"When I came into the hospital," I chirped enthusiastically, "the doctor thought I was having a heart attack..."

"Heart attack? Did I hear you talk about having a heart attack? Three years ago, they rushed me to the hospital because I was having a real heart attack. The ambulance driver didn't think he would get to the hospital in time."

If I thought he was done with this story, I thought wrong.

"My heart attack was so bad I had 17 bypasses. And it was so serious that when the heart surgeon opened up my chest my heart attacked him."

I gave up. It's a wise person who knows when he's been beat - and I've been beat.

"My doctor said," this person continued despite my obvious disinterest, "that my heart attack was the worse heart attack he had ever heard of in all the years of practicing medicine."

I suppose I'll have to bank my "ailment capital" and save it for a rainy day. Or at least, when I can find some unsuspecting person to tell my story to.

For me, the worst thing in the world is having something exciting to talk about and no audience eager to listen.

I must confess being a little discouraged when a thought hit me. I do have an audience.

The Bible declares, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7 KJV.)

No matter what is on my mind at any time of the day, I have access to the greatest ears in the world. By pouring out my heart to God, He replaces it with peace. What a great deal.

About The Author

Reverend Snyder is currently ministering at the "Family of God Fellowship" in Ocala, Florida. More of his articles are available for reprint at his website: Rev. Snyder is available as a guest speaker. He writes a weekly column and is the author of "Romance Around a Parsonage Fireplace" available at:


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