Links Daily Devotional

The Winning Attitude, Part 14

“In everything give thanks…” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, KJV)

Do you believe an attitude, like gratitude, can lengthen a person’s life?

Royce Johnson is convinced it can.

One night at 3 am, after being told he had multiple melanoma and only 36 months to live, Royce decided he had nothing better to do than clean his garage. So he turned on the light, started cleaning shelves laden with cans and bottles, and fired them off the walls into two trash cans in its corners.

“Doctors had pumped me full of chemo and steroids,” Royce said, smiling, to my wife Lorraine and his wife Susan as we sat around our kitchen table. “I was toxic,” he said, “so high I couldn’t sleep.”

Lorraine and I met Royce and Susan at the Payne Stewart Cup at St. Andrews in 2012. Royce, an MD who drives tee shots as straight as Fred Funk, and Susan, also a doctor, had cut short their careers to serve God in both Africa and France.

Royce went on with his story. “Suddenly, I stopped. What am I doing?”

He looked at us. “I didn’t know,” he said. “I wasn’t angry.”

His puzzle was answered three months later when he awoke at 3 am again. “I thought back ten to our early days in Mombasa, Africa,” he said. “God provided this great missionary couple who took us under their wing. Helped us sign our lease and furnish our house. Babysat our four sons. Loved us…

“I felt a deep sense of gratitude to God for his care. Then another couple came to mind, then a third couple he had sent to us. Feelings of gratitude came over me. I stayed in a state of overwhelming gratitude for an hour, maybe more. The next morning I felt changed.

“That was 17 years ago.”

What do you think? Can possession of a spirit of gratitude prolong life?

(For information about this year’s Payne Stewart Cup, which will be held July 23-27 in Orlando, Florida, visit

Jim Hiskey
March 24, 2014
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