The discharge papers were stacking up as I patiently waited for the final dismissal granting me permission to bring Mark back to our home. The instructions were being repeated for his prescriptions, level of activity, nutritional diet guidelines, scheduling of doctor’s visits and so much more. Our minds were slightly overwhelmed. Just 4 four days earlier life seemed so much more carefree. Once dismissed we headed home on a mission to become “heart smart.”
The questions kept coming at me. Why Mark? He was always busy, on the go and when he did have a few minutes he would be biking, running, or walking our neighborhood. Mark was too young and active for this. However, it had happened and now there was this invisible sign following him stating, “restrictions apply.” How much was too much? How much was too little? Where were the answers?
I began taking his restrictions and started substituting them into our family’s lifestyle. Vegetable oil replaced olive oil, Mrs. Dash replaced salt, whole-wheat flour replaced the all-purpose flour and so the substitution process continued throughout our pantry and refrigerator. We didn’t just claim it as Dad’s/Mark’s new restrictions but ours as well.
So many are willing to accept restrictions leading to a healthier lifestyle. Gym memberships are purchased. Soda cans are discarded for the water bottle. Stairs are chosen over the elevator. The menu has grilled instead of fried as the only available option.
All this concentration on the heart brought me to my own spiritual heart and the restrictions that apply in order for me to live a long and prosperous spiritual life. I began to think of the substitutions that are needed in order to have a spiritual healthy lifestyle. Why does it seem that so many heart smart pursuers of a healthy lifestyle are trying to ignore the restrictions that apply to be spiritually heart smart?
As a family we have joined with Mark to conform to this new lifestyle and we eagerly await his doctor’s appointments to eventually hear the doctor tell us that he is winning this race on heart disease. It is not a race that we can afford to give up on. We must continue on each and every day.
We are all in a spiritual race. It is one we cannot afford to give up on. We are waiting for that appointment when we hear Him say that we have fought the fight and finished our race.
2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NLT)
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.