Sunday, February 1, 2015
Chairs On the Freeway
I am a counselor. My office is a safe place for the people who come for help. They are free to share from the depths of their soul. Sometimes that sharing weighs heavy on my heart. I hurt because they hurt. And then there are the victories, the breakthroughs, the transformations I get to witness because of my line of work. The last couple weeks has been a mix of both with a funeral included for a dear lady who basically watched me grow up as a pastor. Which brings us to Saturday. A good hot soak in the tub with a thought provoking book is cherished down time. It's happened many times before, but this day was to be a different experience. Later, as I was shaving, I was chatting with my wife, normal stuff going on, when suddenly I found myself bracing myself against the bathroom door jam. "I don't feel well," I said to Marty. I became increasingly light-headed, the room was swirling, and my hearing became muffled. I sat down and wondered how long was this going to continue. And if I'm completely honest, there was a little fear as to what could come next. After a few minutes, things started to return to normal and a call to an advice nurse determined that I had more than likely experienced a drop in blood pressure from the hot bath. "Have a sports drink next time to increase your salt intake." Relieved by the prognosis, but having never experienced something like that before, it caused me to be very reflective. I thought about clients I had seen earlier in the week, one in particular that had some huge personal breakthroughs and some miraculous news to report in our last session. I resolved that I still needed to be around to help others write the next chapter of their personal story, the success chapter. I still have work to do.
The next morning, I hit the road with my son in the early hours of the morning to head to Pleasant Hill as I am filling in as an interim worship pastor at my friend's church. We had just pulled off of Lawrence Expressway to get on Hi 237 when a chair appeared abruptly in the middle of the freeway. The sun just started to peek over the hills, so the road was still very dark. The unexpected sight of the piece of furniture in my lane caused me to swerve and let out a "Whoa!"I immediately called 911 to report it so no one else would be in danger of colliding with the foreign object in the road.
I shared the story with the church that morning before leading the first song which states. "You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord, Blessed be Your Name." Needless to say, I had a little extra gratitude to be able to sing those lyrics that morning.
After the first of two services, a lady came up to me and shared that she had been praying for me that morning that I would get to church safely and that she had never prayed a prayer like that for me before. Did I say I was reflective after the low blood pressure incident? Double that.
The roller coaster of empathizing and rejoicing with clients, the funeral, the health scare, the near accident, the prayers for my safety that very morning... All these things have added up to make me very aware that this coming week and beyond has great purpose, and I want to live to serve that purpose. And that is true for all of us. It doesn't have to take a near death experience or facing our mortality to realize our lives have meaning and our existence affects others.
Maybe you came across this blog and forgot how purposeful your life is. If that is the case, let me assure you, you matter, and you don't need a chair popping up in the middle of the freeway to prove it.