It’s been a strange week or so, which had all of the following:
- Becoming a Refugee
- Cardiac Care Unit
- a phrase full of truth
- and coming home.
**not necessarily in that order.
For the past few months, I’ve been bustin’ it pretty hard on all fronts. Yet, like a treadmill runner, putting on the miles but getting no closer to accomplishing much visible progress. Well, maybe that’s true. It certainly is a perception.
Feeling the pressure to be minimally productive at home, in relationships, at the office and in local ministry I was driving to work last week thinking, “not sure today is possible.” Then, without asking for it, the Lord instills this nugget in my life, “my blessings are more than enough for you.” That doesn’t happen too often, unfortunately. And, if this had come from any Christian friend, I would have felt like opening up a can of righteous indignation on their Christian-easy input. But, coming from the only one who actually can make that true, it was life sustaining, substantive, “take-another-step-enabling” nourishment. Cool, right?
Then on Sunday, it was my turn to preach. Um, first, um real sermon without any other motive but to teach the Word. The passage, Psalm 31. I preached on how we must live out the fact that Christ is our only source of refuge. And, how we should lay aside our worldly status and our ability to produce security and comfort and instead take on whatever He would give us – for His glory and our Kingdom inheritance. I really enjoyed preaching and hope it was relevant and true. You can listen here, feedback is welcome.
Little did I know, I would have the chance to put these words into actions. Around 3pm on Sunday, I started to experience discomfort in my chest – a strange tightness. I went to bed and woke up with the same sensation and a feeling like my heart was racing, fluttering, um, doing the Ickey Shuffle. Cute, but not entirely helpful. I went to the office and lasted till afternoon before I was too distracted to work. I was thinking, this most likely is a bit of anxiety or heart palpitation that just requires a short nap. I’m not a doctor, but that seems logical, right? By evening, around 30 hours of feeling like a rock tumbler, I decided (with much prompting) to go the ER.
Within, oh, 30 seconds, they start moving with purpose, getting on the horn and prepping me for the ride upstair to the Cardiac Care Unit. I sort of figured they would only look at me and send me home. Not so much. I spent the night, the youngest kid on the cardiac care block. After a lot of tests, all known causes for atrial fibrillation were determined not to exist. But, the AF persisted all night but subsided with medication meant to slow my heart rate from 140bpm to around 100bpm by 6am. Not much sleep, but my chest cavity was finally able to rest. Hopefully this was a one-off 40 hour carnival ride. With no known cause it seems to be a fluke, most likely made possible by the afore mentioned stress load.
So, after a sweet homecoming, hugs and snuggles for all, Sarah and I talked and now see the writing on the wall. We’ve known for a awhile that I need to find daily moments of peace and a few substantive days of retreat. It’s not really too optional. How, when and what that looks like remains to be seen. If His blessings are more than enough for me, then perhaps spending some extra time in His presence is a smart approach. So, pray that making this a priority becomes our reality.
If He is our Refuge, then it’s time to be a Refugee!