Chuck, I love the Chuck Norris “facts” all over the Internet. One of my favorites is: “Chuck Norris’ tears can cure cancer. It’s too bad he never cries!” That’s hilarious, but it’s also very personally helpful to me. Sir, I’m actually being treated for cancer, and equal “medicines” to me right now are my treatments, laughing at those whimsical sayings about you and my faith in God. With spring and Easter here, I guess you can say it’s a Chuck Norris mixture of medicine, humor and faith! I just wanted to say thank you for being part of my recovery. – Joey R. in Medford, Ore.
Joey, your three “medicines” sound like a recipe of chicken soup for the soul!
I’m so honored to be a part of your recovery – even with humor and the jokes, such as those at ChuckNorrisFacts.com, written about me by others.
It’s a proven medical fact: Laughter – or even the anticipation of a good laugh – can lower stress hormones significantly, whether you’re young or more advanced in life.
Case in point, in 2008, Melissa B. Wanzer, professor of communication studies at Canisius College, reported in ScienceDaily that aging adults experience greater levels of coping efficacy and life satisfaction when laughing more.
Laughter is a powerful ingredient in life’s recipe for health and happiness. As it says in the Good Book (Proverbs 17:22), “A joyful heart is good medicine, but depression drains one’s strength.”
And that would be a great word and reminder even if it weren’t tax week!
The “fact” you mentioned is the last one in my “Official Chuck Norris Fact Book” – which contains 101 of my favorite “facts” about me, as well as jokes and stories about my life and career.
The truth is that if my tears could cure cancer, I would cry a million of them. Of course, that is only wishful thinking. But I do know of a substance that can cure the soul. You, Joey, have discovered it, as well. And the Easter season is a perfect time for me to re-share my story.
My mom, Wilma Norris Knight, raised my brothers – Wieland and Aaron – and me in the Christian faith. We didn’t just attend church and Sunday school (which she taught, by the way); she also read to us from the Bible, prayed with us and modeled a life of love. Nothing was forced down our throats; it was just lived out in front of us every day. I am who I am today because of my mom’s influence. (Please read her autobiography, “Acts of Kindness: My Story.”)
I was 12 when I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and savior and was baptized at Calvary Baptist Church, where our family attended. As a young man, I recommitted my life to Christ at a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles.
I’ve maintained my faith throughout my martial arts, movie and television careers, but as I shared earlier in my book, there was also a time when I lost my way. As resilient as I thought I was, I swallowed the hook of the Hollywood lifestyle.
Mom continued to pray for me throughout those years, and I’m convinced that’s how and why God brought my wife, Gena, into my life. She is a beacon of God’s light and love, just as my mom is. Gena brought me back to my childhood faith – in which compromise was unbecoming, transparency was a virtue, humility was required and belief was daily practiced.
On Easter Sunday in 2009, I experienced another highlight in my spiritual life. I recommitted my life to Christ yet again, but this time, I did so with my household. Gena, our 8-year-old twins and I all recommitted our lives to Christ and were baptized together by our chaplain. What an absolute joy it was to watch my loved ones go into those sacred waters and to hear them affirm their belief and recommitment to follow Jesus.
Watching them, I thought about the place in the Bible where the Apostle Paul and his friend Silas were miraculously freed from a jail cell. The jailer was so moved by the event that he asked them, “What must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” Then the jailer and all his family were baptized.
As the chaplain eased me back and fully immersed me in the water, I thought about all I had been through in my life and all I still wanted my life to be. I felt renewed, refreshed and cleansed with the water that is a symbol of Christ’s forgiving blood. As I came up with water flowing off my head and body, I prayed as my mom has prayed every day of her life: “For your glory, Lord. For your glory!”
My good friend and prolific author Randy Alcorn said it best when he wrote: “Hope is the light at the end of life’s tunnel. It not only makes the tunnel endurable, it fills the heart with anticipation of the world into which we will one day emerge. Not just a better world, but a new and perfect world. A world alive, fresh, beautiful, devoid of pain and suffering and war, a world without disease, without accident, without tragedy. A world without dictators and madmen. A world ruled by the only one worthy of ruling.”
(For more, please watch My Hope America with Billy Graham’s “The Cross” at MyHopeWithBillyGraham.org.)
Write to Chuck Norris with your questions about health and fitness. Follow Chuck Norris through his official social media sites, on Twitter @chucknorris and Facebook’s “Official Chuck Norris Page.” He blogs at ChuckNorrisNews.blogspot.com.