Heart Attack with ACHUCKAllen
During the first week of January this year I wound up in the Emergency Room. I had problems catching my breath, my chest was in pain, my left arm could feel that pain, and I was sweating profusely. I had just finished speaking at one of our local schools and Jenny sent my assistant, Beth to pick me up and deliver me to the ER. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper. But, of all the women on the planet, I have learned to listen to both of them and got into Beth’s Tahoe like a little boy that had just been given detention for fighting. I use that illustration as an example that I have no problems relating with.
Once in the ER, the first concern that the nurses and technicians have is “are you having a heart attack, or have you had a heart attack.” My EKG was wonky, my BP high and my breathing was shallow. Add that to the fact that I am in my late 50’s, still overweight, and live in a tension-filled role and you have the perfect candidate for a heart problem.
After multiple tests, screens and scans, it was determined that I should have a Heart Catheterization to determine what was going on. When the cardiologist said, I think you will probably need at least 2 bypass corrections, it got real. All of a sudden, all those double cheeseburgers and biscuits with gravy had come back to haunt me! There is no such thing as privacy in a heart cath. Stuff gets shaved, taped, prepped and left uncovered that completely leave you in a weird situation, but hey, it’s your heart.
As the heart cath was ending, the tech looked at me and gave me the 2 thumbs up sign. I had no idea if he was telling me good, you are healthy, or awesome, we get to bill you thousands more for open heart surgery. About 30-minutes later the cardiologist stopped by and opened the file. He read through some notes and looked up at me and Jenn, only to say, “Your heart is shockingly healthy.” He seemed a bit disappointed since I clearly was a candidate for a heart attack. Once they determined my heart was fine, and in spite of the fact that I still didn’t feel well, they couldn’t get rid of me fast enough.
When I look at the challenges in our country right now, I think she is in the middle of a heart attack. Filthy, nasty, deceitful politics, race wars, inflation, pornography, poverty, fatherlessness, fragile economies, massive debt, and we haven’t even gotten to Russia, Isis, Boko Haram, Sudan, Cuba, Haiti, and immigration. We could go on and on with this list, but at some point, something has to change. Every counselor on the planet has learned the value of these words, “Nothing Changes, Until Something Changes.”
If we could treat these problems one at a time, we would want to know the symptoms, the family history, the systemic challenges created by each, and we would want to start running invasive testing that would allow us to see deeper into the problem.We would order blood work, x-rays, CT scans, Pet scans, sonograms and eventually a heart catheterization. And this time, there would be no 2 thumbs up. There would be no evaluation that would sound remotely like, “Your heart is shockingly healthy.”
This diagnoses would be that our planet has a heart problem, a neglected heart attack, and is dying, one artery and one beat at a time. Pick the issue, any issue and when put it through the gauntlet of testing and scrutiny, you’ll find that its root cause is one thing – A MATTER OF THE HEART!
Race, radical Islamic terrorists, economics, education, politics, government, faith, immigration…just pick one or pick 40 more. The search for the problem leads you to the cure for the problem simultaneously – THIS WORLD NEEDS A HEART TRANSPLANT!
We left stents and bypass surgery decades ago. We are in a full blown heart meltdown that requires a brand new heart. But watch this – the first heart that needs a transplant is mine, and yours, and those folks over there! We all do.
The Divine spoke through the Prophet Ezekiel and offered a promise that still stands true and deliverable today: “And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.”
Okay! I get it! We need the terrorists to have a new heart. We need the bigots to have a new heart. We need the political party (that is not yours) to have a new heart. We need Wall Street and Main Street to have a new heart. But HEAR ME! The only place to start is with the heart that you control…especially when you surrender that control to the One that created it. ME and YOU – WE NEED A NEW HEART! Here are three ways to get a new heart today:
- Recognize that we don’t know everything about everything. And in that, realize that there is only ONE GOD, and you are not Him.
- Forgive! The heart grows stronger when the soul is willing to forgive. I didn’t say anything about anybody accepting your forgiveness. I said your soul must forgive. In case you need a refresher on this, Jesus helped us understand forgiveness. If you need to be forgiven, you must be willing to forgive. Maybe you’re saying – “NO WAY, Chuck,” I will not, I can not forgive them.” Then your day in the Heavenly Courtroom might be a bit funky. All those folks that you are harboring hate in your soul for? They are one prayer away from being your Heavenly neighbor!
- Serve! The great challenge in our country isn’t economics, debt, immigration, politics or fake news. The problem is a lack of leaders! John Maxwell has sold millions of books and made million of well-earned dollars helping folks lead better. I remember hearing him say, 30 years ago that leadership is best defined as INFLUENCE. While in my heart, I totally agree with him, I’m puzzled as to why all these leaders can’t seem to make a dent in all these problems? Here’s my AHA! We don’t need more Great Leaders with greater influence! We need a handful of Godly Leaders who are influenced by the One that created the world, and all that is in it…including you! Jesus said that if we were to ever be great, “we must serve!” Serve who? In this order 1) Him! 2) Others! 3) Him Again! 4) Others More!
Today is the time to start! Recognize, Forgive and Serve and watch your heart expand in its newfound health and see it take hold and spread like strep throat at a Youth Camp! (okay, bad example—but you get it!)
You see? You are the solution.