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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I wish you a puzzling and perilous situation, dear friend



So here I sit on Hilton Head Island. On vacation. From my problems.

At least that's what Bob says in the movie, "What About Bob?"

Vacation are for fun and freedom and memories. Not problems.

But the funny thing is, problems don't take a vacation....they come along for the ride wherever we happen to be...

Like ticks attached to a dog's leg, they climb on board and hold on for the ride.

Even on Hilton Head.

So that is what I was thinking about this morning...sipping coffee as I sat on the patio overlooking the lagoon, a Hawk careening towards me with a Crow in hot pursuit.

I had just read something in my "devotional of the week"...The Hungering Dark by Frederick Buechner...

"We must be careful with our lives, for Christ's sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously. Everybody knows that. We need no one to tell it to us. Yet in another way perhaps we do always need to be told, because there is always the temptation to believe that we have all the time in the world, whereas the truth is we do not. We have only one life, and the choice of how we are going to live it must be our own choice, 
not one that we let the world make for us."

Yeah, I know, not the most normal thing to think about while in paradise.

But it was put in front of me and I would have had to have been been blind to miss it...

"We must be careful with our lives, for Christ's sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world..."

Yes. I agree. With all that is within me I agree.

Unfortunately, such revelation usually only comes when I am in a puzzling and perilous situation. 

Such as the other day...

When I was told in no uncertain terms by my very determined husband and daughter that I WAS going to the Minute Clinic NOW for a cough that kept me from breathing....

Or I would be grounded forever...or at least for the rest of this vacation.

At least that's what I heard them say.

So, being the accommodating person that I am, I dropped them and the boat off at the boat ramp and trucked on down the highway to the nearest clinic...

Eager to receive the much-need antibiotic so I could breathe again...

Only to be told that it could be a pulmonary embolism and I needed an X-ray. NOW. STAT. Or else.

IF I even made it there in time.

Yeah, Okay. I get it. As I raced further off the island to another Urgent Care with a real Doctor and X-ray machine awaiting my arrival, all I could think of was, "Who is going to get the fam and the boat? For Heaven's sake there is a thunder storm approaching and they are out on the open water!

And what about my kids? And grandkids? Would they ever know how passionately I loved them and how proud I am of them?" Maybe I should scribble a quick note on a napkin and leave it in the car to be found at a later date...

Oh God, I really don't want to die.

Yes, that was a eyes-wide-open-wake-up moment for me. One minute I'm in my cushy little condo doing things I love, and the next I'm potentially heading for the grave.

But the good news is, as you can see, I did NOT die on this island... 

And the person who told me I could have a pulmonary embolism was delusional...and should not be allowed to speak ever again...

And the kindest of aged doctors who told me why it was not an embolism, but bronchitis, was the most wonderful person I had ever met. I will travel from Charlotte any day to have him treat me again!

My daughter, a Paramedic through and through, was furious. 

I allowed her to rant and rave while I tried to breathe, knowing that all she said was perfectly true.

But in the back of my mind, something nagged at me.

And today I discovered what it was...

"We must be careful with our lives, for Christ's sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world..."

I really need to go back and thank that incompetent person who made a completely incorrect diagnosis.

Yes, she cost me another doctor's visit. And a whole lot of stress.

But she also gave me a gift...

The reminder that, as the Bible says, we are as a flower of the field, here today and gone tomorrow.

That I only have today...no promise of time to come.

So I need to live my life. Love it. Give thanks for it.

For my sake and the sake of those I love. 

And especially for Christ's sake.

For it is His gift to me.

One day.

One glorious gift of a day of life.