The practice of perspective
A week ago at this moment I was on an all-night flight from Brazil to the US. I was tired enough from my three-week trip that I actually slept for about three hours on the flight, which may be a record for me. I’m starting to wonder if I need to check into those tranquilizer darts they make to take down elephants.
Stepping off the plane in Sao Paulo was like taking a deep breath after holding it for a month. It was my 3rd/4th trips to Brazil with Global Awakening, and after the crazy month I’d had (wild story here if you haven’t read it), it felt like the first normal thing I’d done in a long time.
Yes, I know. Flying to Brazil to do three weeks of intense ministry isn’t normal for most people. But it was the first time in weeks that I felt like me, like I was doing something that was normal for me. And I loved doing it.
But…now I’m home. And to be honest, I don’t know what normal looks like anymore. I’m trying hard to resist trying to force it look like it looked before I drove myself to the hospital on August 26. I’m constantly reminding myself that it’s a gift to be alive, and any grief over unexpected and undesired changes must be tempered with that reality.
It’s better to be alive than to have a chest without a tender scar.
It’s better to be alive than to be able to take a decongestant if my sinuses get stuffy.
It’s better to be alive than to be free of taking a medication that wants to eat my stomach, and also free of the alarm I set for twice a day so I never forget to take it.
It’s better to be alive than to be free of lumpy little tiny computers implanted in my chest.
It’s better to be alive than to be able to drive.
That last one really bites.
I’m used to going where I need to go, when I want to go there. I am accustomed to being unlimited by distance if it’s drivable. Road trips are common for me, mostly solo. My van is known by close friends as my “prayer closet on wheels”, and I often keep up with preachers and speakers by listening to podcasts while on the go.
But there’s a law in Florida that says that if you lose consciousness due to an event like the one I had, you can’t drive for six months. Which I did. You can’t really go into a lethal heart rhythm without eventually losing consciousness, because your brain stops getting blood flow. The reality is that I don’t yet know if I’ll ever be cleared to drive again. I have a little over four months left of the six month legal requirement (on the assumption that what happened in August doesn’t happen again or my device doesn’t fire, because that would re-set the clock), but it’s not just about the law. It’s also about the recommendation of physicians who look at my specific case. And more than that, I have to have the peace of heaven over this. No matter how much I want to drive, I must have peace that I would not be a danger to anyone if I got behind the wheel. And those things are all unknown right now.
The scar on my chest will toughen up, and it should be 7-10 years before the device has to be replaced.
I can use essential oils if I get stuffy, or better yet, I can learn a new level of living in divine health where I don’t get a stuffy head, even in the middle of this other attack on my physical well-being.
It’s possible that I won’t need the stomach-eating medication for more than a few months, since it’s really just to help my body/heart find stability after all the trauma it’s been through.
The lumpy little computer doesn’t stick out all that much, and I’m praying that its primary job will be to testify to God’s goodness in healing me, rather than tracking a goofy electrical dysfunction from the pit of hell, which needs to go back where it came from. It’s always more fun to track heaven than hell anyway.
Maybe one day in the not too distant future I’ll really get to debate whether I would prefer the Honda CVR or a Toyota RAV4. Or I could hire me a Jeeves or a Hoke. Probably a Jeeves, because I suspect I’m more Bertie Wooster than Miss Daisy.
Perspective is powerful stuff. Lack of it can be powerfully damaging. I don’t want to be caught up in what I can’t do, although sometimes it’s so in my face that it’s hard not to choke on it. I want to glean every gift hidden in this mess. I don’t want to miss a lesson that could teach me something that upgrades my thinking or my maturity. I want to live in unreasonable hope and outrageous joy, undaunted by opposition. After all, I’m alive. In spite of blatant attempts from hell to render me otherwise, I am very much alive, and gratefully so.
I have to admit, however…some days I feel like a third grader tackling a master’s level course.