This is what I’ve learned as a 48-year-old man in the last 4-6 weeks:
- I have(had) a bad aortic valve
- I have a deviated left septum
- I have a hernia in my left diaphragm
- I have mild coronary heart disease
Here’s what I knew about myself up to 4-6 weeks ago:
- I’m in decent shape for my age
- I bike ride between 20-50 miles weekly
- I don’t smoke
- I don’t drink
- I don’t drink carbonated beverages, I love and drink a lot of water, 80 ounces daily
- I don’t get sick.
- I take a lot of vitamins daily … religiously
- I don’t take any medications
- I get colds 3 times yearly
- I don’t get the flu
The question, I keep asking myself is … “how could this happen to me?” The question I kept getting asked by all of the nurses that assisted me this past week was … “why are you here?”. I eat right, I exercise, I walk a lot, I drink a lot of water, etc, etc, etc.
So, what did happen? I don’t have an answer. My doctors don’t have an answer. All they can tell me is over time my valve has gone bad and my arteries are slightly clogged. I wasn’t born with a bad valve. Over time, one of my leaflets has simply gone bad. Since I’m in decent shape, the doctor told me I would have never had the normal “signs” consistent with a bad valve. I would simply be on my bike, or just walking, driving, etc and my valve would fail and I would immediately go into cardiac arrest. With no one around to assist me, it was a very real possibility that I would have died. Those are not things I want to hear as a 48-year-old male. The fact that I would be just “rolling along” in my “regular life” and would drop down into immediate cardiac arrest is not something that I would ever want to happen.
I recounted in my last blog how God orchestrated everything so there was never a doubt as to Him being in control and how thankful I am that He is God and that He Controls my life. So, I’m just going to go right to my application
We can be great Christians in our own eyes. We can attend church, sing in the choir, lead a life group, be an usher, be a greeter, be a deacon, be on staff, etc and our heart can be just as far away from God as the guy who is saved, but is running from God and doesn’t spend 5 seconds in a church.
It’s time for me to quit considering myself a “good Christian” and just start serving God. It’s time for me to quit comparing myself to others; time for me to quit being content with my Christian walk; time for me to draw myself closer DAILY to God. Time for me to quit going through life thinking everything is “okay” and start determining DAILY what God wants from me. Time for me to quit thinking how others should think of me, and start thinking more of others, regardless how they think of me. It’s time I recognized that I am a sinner just like everyone else around me. The only difference is that I have God’s Grace in my life. I should be sharing that Grace DAILY for God.
If I don’t do the above, and just a live a life of “christian assumption” then at some point in my life, Satan will bring temptation along the way and I will fall hook, line and sinker into “Spiritual Cardiac Arrest.” As Christians, we will be used by God or used by Satan. We always have a testimony. We are always a witness. It is up to us what that witness looks like to those around us.
I had no idea how many physical problems I have and it could have taken my life. I took it all for granted. I won’t make that mistake again. Any day that God gives me is precious to me.
I do know the spiritual challenges I have and it can take my life and the lives of those I love. It’s time for me to replace/repair the valve of my heart spiritually and live a life for God and God alone.
How’s your valve?
How’s your heart?
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Amen to the above. Wonderful witness, Brent. I pray that I and many can say and do the same. Thank you.
Thank you for the kind comments Millie!
Awesome insights, Brent! Thanks for putting them in writing!
Don’t leave us hanging, Brent – how are you? I started reading to follow your spiritual journey, and you left me w/a cliffhanger! Are you well? Training for Ragbrai? Back to playing handball? Shoot me an e-mail
Thanks for reaching out Mike. I’ve been lax with my blogging obviously. I definitely need to do a follow up. I’m doing well. God’s been very good to me. Went to cardio rehab for 12 wks. Last saw the cardiologist in January. Released back to everything normal for the most part. Been on a few bike rides. Will do more once it warms up more. Taking a couple heart meds and will see cardiologist every 6 mths but other than that I’m good. Thanks for asking!