In December I wrote a an entry on this blog called "Predisposed towards sudden death..." Here's an update.
I have a rogue gene in my body. It could cause my heart to miss a beat for too long a period of time. Good chance I'd die. As my doc says ..."you're predisposed to sudden death." My brother has it. We think my sister might have died because of it. All my kids need to be tested.
What I have is called 'long qt syndrome'. They don't know much about it because it's hard to study. You don't know you have it. So you can't sign up to be part of a control group. You find out you have only after you've died, come close to dying or someone close to you dies or comes face to face with death.
I'm fortunate. I know I have it. Now I have to make a choice. Do I put a defibrillator in my chest or not? That device would restart my heart if that rogue gene shorts out my internal electrical curcuits.
The choice is pretty clear actually. I'll start the process of going bionic.
There's soemthing very sobering about all this. It's not terrifying. It just jars your sensibilities.
It's funny. I cling to life even though I know this isn't my final destination. Jesus said he has a place all prepared for me. That's pretty cool. I believe it. And yet, I cling to life.
You know why I'm clinging to living? For sure, I want to spend a whole lot more time with my wife and kids and friends. But there's something else. I don't think I'm done yet. I mean, it's like deep inside me, I know there's something else I'm supposed to do before I leave planet earth. There's some adventure I'm still destined to take. Some 'assignment' left to fulfill.
What's so exciting about all this is that I think that what's left for me is going to be something right in my sweet spot. I mean, I think it's something that's going to be really, really interesting ...something matching my gifting and passions and intersecting with some deep need in our culture.
In other words, I can choose to grab on to this 'gift' of becoming slightly bionic and choose to really live. Or not.
Maybe that's the crucial question for all of us. Live or not live? Surprisingly, a whole lot of people I know choose to 'not live'. Know anyone who whines, doesn't tap into their God-given passion, who exists only for pleasure, who doesn't give a rip about others, someone who's sloppy, apathetic and lost zest for anything good and noble? They're not living. Not really. They wander through life, die, and are soon forgotten. No legacy. No real footprint left on planet earth.
Could that be you?
I've been given a gift. I've been confronted with the fact that I won't live on this earth forever. I could die tomorrow. So could you. But the odds are that I'll beat you. So, how will I live today? What needs to be put into motion so that I don't live with any more regrets? Maybe it's ego, hopefully it's more noble than that. but I want to leave a legacy. I've often said I want my funeral to filled iwth people crying their eyes out. More importantly, I want to be welcomed into heaven with Jesus looking deep into my eyes and saying "Well done, Mike. Welcome home".
So, sometime in the not too distant future I'll get fitted with a defib device in my chest. It will be a pain going through security at the airport but it could prolong my life. That's a gift. What will I do with that gift?
Sometimes I think I'm a slow learner. That's why God sometimes needs to get my attention in some pretty abrupt ways. But He does have my attention. I'm not going to waste this opportunity.
So, God is always about the business of getting our attention. Maybe he's even using these words to speak to you. So, what are you going to do? Live. Or not.