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50/50 Reflections


A few weeks ago, I had a health scare of sorts. Sick stomach, vertigo-like symptoms, sweating and feeling pretty “freaked-out”-if that’s a word. A troubled trip to the ED, a ride in a bouncing ambulance, and a work-up at the hospital. It was as they say, “overwhelming.”

Photo via Unsplash.

After the initial phase of the ED visit, the doctor came back and said that he thought it was a 50/50 chance I was experiencing a stroke and that they should administer TPA to dissolve a potential clot. At the end of the day (24 hours and counting) and after looking over tests they came back to say the final word: no evidence of any damage on the MRI and all my tests were normal.

But… in that initial moment, I knew that what lay ahead was out of my control. I tried to pray, to think of a prayer or just to be quiet. The noise in my head (tinnitus) and the nausea in my stomach made it impossible to be “still and know the Lord.” I was in the moment of a 50/50 reality. It was a sobering experience.

Most of my career has been based on being a “non-anxious” presence with those to whom I am called to serve. My wife, the doctors, the attending nurses, the hospital staff and others in the Neuro-ICU imparted to me a special grace that was not mine to give. What lay ahead was out of my (personal) control, but ultimately in God’s wise providence I received a gift – another day.

Photo via Unsplash.

A 50/50 split doesn’t sound like great odds does it? How about you? But maybe in a way life is not about the odds, the numbers, or even what is or is not in our control. It came as an insight last week. Simply… to live in the presence of God – as much as possible and think about each moment as sacred, gracious and truly a gift from our Creator.

Oddly enough, the next week we went on vacation and enjoyed several days of re-creation. Maybe you’ve had a 50/50 moment? If not consider that the ONE who made you is aware of the hairs on your head, the sparrows that fly, the days of your youth and the thoughts in your mind. It’s a 50/50 chance you can change your narrative to include a grateful AMEN to each day if you choose.

About the Author

Photo courtesy of Mike Riess.

The Rev. David Merritt is a retired Pastor, former Dean, Outreach Director, and Chaplain, but he’s “papa” according to his grandkids. David loves God, Laurel Ridge, and his family. He has enough sense to get out of the rain, but prefers raindrops anyway.

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