It has been six months since I went in for a stress test which led to coronary by-pass surgery. During the first month and a half of recuperation I spend time writing about the traumatic experience of being cut open and getting used to a scar on my chest. It was hard to write because my ability to concentrate and write was compromised by the drugs I was taking. One of the drugs was a Beta Blocker, which suppresses adrenaline. People need adrenaline to help them react to daily events. While the drug helped keep my blood pressure low so my heart could heal, some of the side effects were confusion, lack of focus and depression. I’m a Librarian and have to be able to focus. I have to be able to think and concentrate. I stopped taking the drug after about 7 weeks, with my doctors understanding. My concentration and memory are still affected by the trauma of the surgery.
After a month and a half, I started exercising more, building up to walking several miles a day and riding my bicycle. They were easy rides. The biggest concern was falling off a bicycle, which could do some major damage to my chest which was already healing from surgery. I did not feel dizzy, another possible side effect of the drugs. Every drug they prescribed was designed to either lower my blood-pressure or my cholesterol. I discovered the best way to lower blood pressure was through exercise, combined with a different, less fatty and sugary diet. Where my blood pressure was 140+ over 90+ it is now averaging 110 over 65. In the evening, after a full day at work or riding, my blood pressure is averaging about 95 over 75.
January 2018 began the second half of my convalescence, a three-month period before returning to work. During that time, I worked on regaining my focus and concentration and started writing on the Psalms. Writing was hard but I built a consistent time every morning and was able to record my meditations on Psalms 1 through 3. These are the Meditation on the Psalmsstudies I’ve been posting for the last few months. I had spent a year trying to memorize the Psalms before the surgery and was fairly successful. After the surgery, my memory of the Psalms all but evaporated. It was a struggle to recall what I had committed to memory. It is still a struggle and a frustration.
My intent with the meditation posts was to help me understand Jesus Christ and to point those who read them to Him. One of the conclusions I’ve drawn from the study is that the Psalms, at least the ones I have studied and thought about, point to Christ and express His innermost self. We do not get much of His emotion and thinking about His mission in the Gospels. Nor does He reveal many of His reactions and understandings about why He came as a Man to redeem those who are His. Since all Scripture is written by Him, about Him and His relationship with those created in His image, the Psalms naturally express His heart.
It is not my intent to make these writings about me. Even though the blog is given my name, at least in theory, it is not about me. These writings are the discoveries I am finding and thinking through about my relationship with the One who redeemed me.
A couple of questions arise which I have been trying to ignore for a long time. Why should anyone read what I have written if they do not know me? Should not my thoughts and writing stand-alone without the extra arrogant baggage of my selfishness and self-centeredness? If I am expressing truth about God and His Word, led by the Holy Spirit, then it should not be about me but about Him. If the integrity of my life is not known, how should the integrity of my words and thinking stand? My thinking has been philosophically altruistic. I want people to read what I write because I believe God has given me something to say about Him and His Son. I also want readers to challenge my thinking. But thinking is only part of the whole person. Another part is the emotional side of humanity. People need to know what I am feeling and how I am acting, not just what I think.
I am changing the structure and delivery of this blog starting with this post. At least I am going to try. Hopefully, I will post three times a week. I will continue to post my meditations on the Psalms, but not every post. I am also going to start a study on 1 Peter. I have an M. A. in Theology. I wrote two major papers in graduate school on 1 Peter. The first was a long paper on the terms alienand strangerfound in Peter’s letter. The second was a thesis entitled Suffering for Righteousness’ Sake: A Formal Theological Concept in the First Epistle on Peter. I am not going to bore you with academic writing. First Peter left a deep impression on my heart and my thinking and I need to express those thoughts and feelings. Finally, I am going to write brief posts about me and my life growing up, my current occupation and some of the events which God used to shape me for Him. I am a Librarian and I hope to shatter any stereotypes held by whomever wants to read. The struggle is going to be keeping the attention off of me and on Christ while talking about me. Every experience I have had and will have, whether I was aware or not, has drawn me closer to God.
Thanks for listening and reading my ramble.