Gaining a wise heart

She found me lying across the bed, grasping a toothbrush. The simple act of brushing my teeth wore me out. Time to see a doctor. Major blockage in all coronary arteries. Unquestionably a candidate for coronary bypass. Once the surgeon got started, he bypassed seven vessels in my chest, a record number for the large teaching hospital.

January 31, 1997. My first act on waking was to give thanks for still being alive. Then I vowed to cherish every new day offered me. Every new day. Really appreciate it and try to make good use of this time given to me. Soon this promise grew to include encounters with other people. It was becoming clear that every encounter offers us an opportunity to do good. Not always easy but so important.

Now we learn that a dear friend has been diagnosed with a dangerous cancer. Two other close friends are in the throes of treatments for theirs. Another, already a cancer survivor, finds herself confronting the possibility of Alzheimer’s. Another friend awaits the transplant of a vital organ. At least four of our friends are dealing with Parkinson’s. The list goes on.

How precious is our time here. Psalm 90:12 admonishes us: “So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart”  — New Revised Standard Version. The King James and other translations send essentially the same message. How many days remain for us? How does one gain a wise heart?

Count our days, gain a wise heart. Amid the noise, energy, stress and conflict that fills our days, this resonates with me not so much as a warning but loving advice, well worth heeding.

Today’s word/phrase: could of. The way we speak leads to several common errors, including this one. Could of sounds close to the correct could have. I could of been a contender is wrong. I could have been a contender corrects it.

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