Love the One You’re With & The Last Lecture.

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Love the One You’re With

After a delightful tea in Oxford with Walter Hooper, C.S. Lewis’ personal secretary and editor of many of his works, Nigel Goodwin and I made our way to the Isle of Wight where we are about to begin a Kindlings Hearth retreat.

My flight to the UK was uneventful; the days leading up to it were anything but.

After two months of intermittent chest pains and heart palpitations, when they became steady for four days straight, my wife and a cardiac nurse convinced me to go to the emergency room. Two days later, after a lot of examinations, prodding and poking the heart looks strong, and I’ve been given the gift of reexamination of my life and priorities.

A few alternative explanations for my symptoms are being tested and pursued, but the prevailing theory is a sobering one ~ turns out the experts think I’m getting older. Years of overwork, overeating and under-exercising, combined with a more insane schedule than ever have conspired to send a message to my body, which it, in turn is trying desperately to send to my so-called mind.

SLOW DOWN IDIOT!

During my two day medical ordeal my wife and I talked a lot about things that needed to be talked about. I think some decisions were made.

1) Let go of some stuff. I am overcommitted.

2) Develop a more relaxed attitude about the stuff I do. For a type A time conscious Swiss man, a book title like “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff¢â‚¬¦It is All Small Stuff” sounds like a scroll dropped from a planet filled with lazy, underachieving laggards.

My doctor explained to my wife that while the title “Type-A” has been useful, so far the research shows that trying to change a “Type-A” to a Type B simply causes even more stress for the “Type-A.” This could just be a rationalization since my doctor told me he himself is a “Type-A.” (I knew there was something I liked about this guy!)

3) Lose weight, eat better & less, and exercise. I get this message every year and say “this year I’ll get to it.”

I read last week that Tim Russert said that to his doctor at his most recent and what turned out to be his final physical exam ~ enough said.

4) Medication. My father’s side of the family is neurologically miss-wired¢â‚¬¦.badly. It is genetic and most of them take some medication to calm them a bit. I resisted this for my whole life¢â‚¬¦I acquiesced for a brief testing period.

As soon as I am awake, not groggy and alert again¢â‚¬¦I’ll let you know if it is working.

On the way here I read the book (and You Tube lecture) everybody is talking about, “The Last Lecture” with Randy Pausch. After being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer he’s been given three months to live and has used the time to pass on to his children the lessons he’s learned in life

It is an amazing book and lecture ~ well worth the attention it is receiving.

One thing about Randy, he is not ashamed to share how passionate he is about all of life, including his work which he describes in great detail.

I learned something once in an interview with Bill Hybels that stopped me in my tracks and I thought about it as I read Randy’s book and thought about my life.

Hybels observed that he knows in detail all about the things he is most passionate about. While struggling with his marriage he realized he did not know the color of his wife’s eyes. He knew the average attendance of his precious Willow Creek Community Church SUNDAY MORNING services¢â‚¬¦but couldn’t recall a crucial detail from his personal life¢â‚¬¦

The sixties song comes to mind, “love the one you’re with.”

Does it not stand to reason this would imply, “be with the one you love the most?”

As one who once traveled extensively, I know how a job can require travel and suck you in. I also know the ones who matter most to me are my wife and children. There are times you cannot discern this based on my use of time.

Add to my list of lifestyle adjustments a review of loving the ones I’m with and making sure I am more fully and regularly with the ones I love.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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