Right now, I am 28.5 years old and in the prime of my life…no wrinkles, no aches or pains, no need for bifocals or hearing aids, no walker or cane, no mid-life crisis, no blood pressure or cholesterol meds…you get the picture. I still have my whole life ahead of me with lots of plans (God willing, of course) for marriage, family, “career,” hobbies.
My life would look a million times different if I had been born in Zimbabwe – for many obvious reasons. One of which is that I would only be expected to live to see my 30th birthday. Women in Zimbabwe have the lowest life expectancy of anyone in the world due to HIV.
My sister, Molly, just turned 30. She has 4 kids, ages 7, 5 1/2, 4, and 1 1/2. Pretty sobering, huh?
Posted in Africa, FYI, Life
I just learned that phrase in Pastor John’s talk about C.S. Lewis at the recent DG Pastor’s Conference. This is what he means by omnivorous attentiveness:
“To wake up in the morning and to be aware of the firmness of the mattress, the warmth of the sun’s rays, the sound of the clock ticking, the coldness of the wooden floor, the wetness of the water in the sink, the sheer being of things (quiddity as he called it). And not just to be aware but to wonder. To be amazed that the water is wet. It did not have to be wet. If there were no such thing as water, and one day some one showed it to you, you would simply be astonished.”
When I was taking anatomy and physiology I learned so many incredible things about the human body – one of which was a chemical or neurotransmitter (I can’t remember) that basically prevents people from going crazy due to over-stimulation. If we were constantly aware of all the stimuli bombarding our bodies, we would all go crazy. Think about it – consider what your eyes see right now, including in the periphery. Now feel the air enter your body and your lungs expand as you breathe. What are your fingers and toes touching? How does it feel to be sitting on whatever kind of surface you’re sitting on? Did you notice the feel of your clothes against your skin?
And on and on the list could go. God gave us the ability to feel all of these things as well as the ability to not feel them all at once and go crazy. But it is good to be aware – to be omnivorously attentive to all of these things…and then to “ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name” (Ps. 29:2) for all of his good gifts.
One of my nursing jobs is with a company doing health screening. We go into businesses and perform three “tests” to measure one’s health: body composition (weight, body mass index, and body fat percentage), blood pressure, cholesterol, and bloody glucose. At the end of it all, a nurse reviews the numbers with each person and specifically addresses the abnormals.
I am not obsessive about health, but I think it is important, and I enjoy helping people live healthy lives. Over the last few weeks, as I have been working at these various health screening events, my main job has been to take people’s blood pressures. Unfortunately, there are always at least a few abnormals – meaning, higher than 140/90. (It’s surprising that there aren’t MORE than a few abnormals, actually). Anyways, the abnormals are unfortunate for a couple reasons: it means the person is at greater risk for things like stroke and heart disease, but it also means that I get the disapproving look that says something like, “What’s wrong with you?! Can’t you tell that I am a healthy person, and you got THAT number? Obviously, this is all YOUR fault. I was a healthy person until I met you.” And very often, they will ask for a recheck…just to make sure.
What’s funny about this is that they never (or seldom) do that to the people checking body composition or weight or cholesterol. Those are all checked with machines, so they feel more of a sense of responsibility since the machine cannot lie.
So, next time you have the opportunity to know your numbers (especially blood pressure), remember that those people on the other end are just the messengers.