In the spirit of full disclosure – well, not full, but mostly – a few years ago, I had a fairly significant heart issue. No blockage or bypass surgery or anything like that, but it did land me in the hospital for a few days, and set me on the path of yet another doctor’s care. And here is my other full disclosure: I hate it. Not like I hate lima beans, or being forced to do yoga or other stupid things in front of people – it’s worse than that. Now, Cheri is a nurse practitioner in women’s health, and the nurse practitioner I see for my heart stuff is a great person, so it’s not at all a matter of conflicting personalities. It’s what I have mentioned in the past, when it comes to teeth or haircuts or anything like that. Cheri defined it well. She said, “You are just a very private person.” That’s a good description, and it fits well. I am an introvert by nature, who has managed to act in public pretty effectively, as I have led meetings and workshops and studies and such. However, when it comes to me and my own personal “stuff,” I would far rather not have to engage, and especially have anyone other than my loved ones lay a hand on me. After more than 40 years in the ministry, I came to believe it’s wiser not to hug than to initiate one. Part of that involves avoiding any hint of clergy misconduct, but it also has been just a good standard to keep.
But all that goes away today. The clinic is up in Grand Forks, so that’s 80 miles away, which isn’t bad, except, of course, today it’s going to snow. Grrr. And then, I have to wear a mask, and check in and say out loud for everyone to hear my birthdate, and be asked yet again if I have dipped my toes in the CoVid river. I know, I know – it’s all very terribly important, and I’m being just a big baby about it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it at all.
The only thing I hope happens is that with minimal tests, and minimal probing and examining and such, I can receive some kind of pill that will take care of my symptoms, and I can get back to life without all that business.
Yeah – as I read back what I just wrote, I guess I would fit in rather well in some obscure religious sect, except I enjoy computers and televisions and such. Just get rid of the medical, and all will be well.
But I also know that I have people who love me, and who care about me, and who need me, and so that means I have to intentionally go against what I’d rather do today, and take care of the issues, and like I said, hopefully have some good results. But I will do this because I am also intentionally part of a family and a cluster of people who care, and it is not private – it is selfish – to refuse to live a healthier and better life.
So – if/when you find yourself in a similar situation, realize that your own best intentions can and should include setting aside your own discomfort or dis-ease and just go ahead and do what needs to be done. And it will be ok – really it will. If I say that long enough, I might even start to believe it….
Word for the Day: laetificate. Doesn’t this one just sound like a Latin word? And it is – pronounced lay-TIFF-i-kate. It breaks down into two words: we know the last one, facere, which means “to make.” The first one is leatus¸ which gives us “I delight, I cheer, or I gladden.” The word can be used to talk about what we do, or how we feel ourselves. So, it’s I bring gladness to another person, or cheer them up, or, I am gladdened, and filled with joy because of something that happened. It’s alright to laetificate someone today… By the way, the woman’s name “Latitia” means gladness.
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.