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The Lessons of a Health Alert

While on vacation in late October this year I discovered I had heart disease. That disease was never on my radar, and anyone who knows me would be shocked. My lifestyle and dietary habits would usually not make someone like me a candidate for quadruple by-pass surgery, yet there I was on November 28th, having surgery. I am not going to bore you with any of those details, but while recovering in the hospital I found myself reflecting on the meaning of life and how to preserve the amount of time I have left. First of all, I am alive today because of God’s mercy through a tennis game with my friend David. God’s mercy used my friend David to challenge me to a game of tennis, something he has done in the past. After ten minutes I had to stop playing because I could no longer breathe and started to throw up.

So the first lesson I learned about living is:

Don’t Ignore the Signs

I was so stubborn in believing that my condition was due to something completely different than what it was. Even after failing a stress test I couldn’t be convinced that heart disease was the cause of my problem. Had I ignored the fact that four of my arteries were 90-95% blocked, I would probably be dead by now or pretty close.

Life is like that too. The signs that there is a God can be seen every day, but people live their lives totally ignoring Him. Stubborn people like me, thinking something else is truth when at the end of the day life boils down to a simple fact: do you know God? Many people ignore the signs all around us of his return, thinking it really doesn’t matter one way or another. Yet it does matter because unless you take action today there may not be a tomorrow to make any critical changes.

This all leads me to the second lesson I learned:

Stress is a Killer:

Life has so many unexpected twists and turns and most of them stress us out. Stress is one of the main ingredients of heart disease, yet few of us know how to deal with stress and learn to live with less of it. My goal in living a healthier lifestyle is to learn how to live right everyday. I know we hear that a lot, but most of us if we could, would agree to a sit down with a health coach, a spiritual advisor, dietitian, spiritual coach and a financial planner - and together they would help us to be better prepared to live above the stressful issues of an unhealthy life. This would be extremely helpful against the areas that cause us the most stress, but who has the time to do that? But that is my point. We spend our time on things that just plain keep stressing our lives and it is a vicious cycle that keeps stress in our lives. An example of this was the news from last week. The stories were full of stories of sexual improprieties and resignations. And you know what? It didn’t matter to my life at all. So I decided that I don’t want to be drawn into the things of life that don’t matter, and I refuse to plant stress in my life but choose to invest in the good things in life.

Lastly, in light of this thought on investing time to be with good friends and family is invaluable. The many well-wishers, people who took time to pray for me, and those who visited me, was an obvious investment of time. That was how America was built into a strong nation. Americans worked together, built strong families, and cared for their neighbors. It is like my friend Steve who is the longest friendship I have, over 55 years. Steve and I don’t always agree on things, but at the end of the day, it’s our friendship that wins out and is extremely important to both of us.

Moving forward from surgery? Life lessons are usually learned in some of the most unexpected and dark moments, but they bring the greatest reward.

I thank you all for you kindness toward my family and me.

Keeping it honest and truthful….K




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