I am just about recovered from the last curve ball that came unexpectedly out of left field.
I was admitted to hospital early December in pain and agony. One of my kidneys had an arteries blocked by a blood clot, so half my kidney had died.
Luckily, the remedy was painkiller, bloodthinner and rest rather than surgery. Now I am on the mend.
As always the question to ask is not: What did I do to deserve this? But what are the lessons?
I decide they were:
1. You just never know what tomorrow will bring.
This is a great lesson for a dedicated planner like myself. My dear husband bought me the most beautiful planning book. He had seen how I meticulously draw up a sheet for each week (as in Steven Covey's "7 Habits") and plan what's going on and make lists.
So he found a planner that had that all done for me. It's beautiful and has lovely pictures and every amount of information you could ever want.
However, much as all that planning is good and necessary you have to be able to abandon it in the face of emergencies and serendipity; otherwise "life is what happens while you're busy making plans" (John Lennon).
So not all the Christmas stuff got done and maybe the U.K. Christmas cards were late, but I got to talk to my sister in Italy and my mum in U.K. as I assured them they didn't need to drop everything and get here.
And it sent my little networkers into a scurry as friends called friends and family called family and church called church and I knew I was held in light and love by so many people all around the planet.
How could I not get well? I received e-mails from all over with good wishes and positive thoughts abounded.
2. Take nothing for granted, especially your health.
This is the second health excitement I have had since I came here, and I still think of myself as healthy.
I considered what would have happened to me if I had had that experience in another place or another time. I would have had to endure the pain, not knowing what it was. I would have no idea if it was life threatening or not. I would either get over it, or not.
That's pretty bleak.
Whereas my experience was immediate pain relief as soon as I got myself to E.R. and within an hour or two and a CT scan I knew the diagnosis and prognosis so could just relax and focus on recovering. What a blessing.
3. Be eternally grateful for everything you have.
And so that is how I will start this new year with a commitment to an attitude of gratitude every moment of the day for every blessing great and small. What a great spiritual exercise to start and end each day with gratitude.
Religion 101 runs every Saturday written by a different pastor each week. Jill Loving is pastor at Unity Church of Merced, 305 W 26th St. You can reach her at www.unitymerced.com.