I’m taking a heart pause. Literally. A. Heart. Pause. A few weeks ago I was experiencing a slight shortness of breath while exercising . . .
A trip to my doctor . . . Hmm . . .
An EKG . . . Hmm . . .
And then a CT Scan . . . Hmm . . .
And then a Stress Test . . . Hmm . . .
And then an Angiogram . . .
And then a complete blockage in a coronary artery. And then the hospital. And then two stents.
I am home now. I am fine. Compared to so many people in the world, I am a lucky man. A blessed man. It’s humbling, of course, when a medical team saves your life. It is humbling to know (really know) that every single heartbeat is a gift of God. I knew that. (Theoretically) Now I know it.(Experientially.)
I’m in recovery mode now. My body is a little sore. I’m feeling excited and thrilled in one moment, and then the next moment I find myself inexplicable depressed and somber.
Like many of you, when it comes to daily habits, I know what I want to do, I know what I should do, and I know what I need to do, but I don’t always follow through. And so, like many before me, I am trying to reboot my life — take better care of myself, find more balance with my work life and professional life, eat better, exercise more, and through it all try to live in a way that relishes life as a gift, but which recognizes that moderation is a good thing too.
I’m not sure why I’m sharing all of this tonight. It’s Saturday night. I’m not going to church tomorrow. I feel no pressure over a sermon. But if I were preaching tomorrow, preaching tomorrow on the Sunday after Easter, it would be something like this — Life is a gift. Friends matter. Family matters. Faith matters. Live fully. Live gratefully. Be brave. Be fearless. Love others.
Take a Breath with me today. I don’t often ask this, but if you’re so inclined, say a prayer for me today. I will say a prayer for you too. I look forward to being back in the pulpit of First Congregational Church of Los Angeles on April 22. Between now and then I’ll doing some thinking and praying and reading, and if I’m lucky a little walking on the beach.