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Doing the Shuffle

shuffleboard distant

I walked past the shuffleboard courts this morning. Empty, as they have been since I arrived and as I trust they will be when I leave. It’s an old person’s game, I guess. No cue’s or disks around or I might have taken a turn, just to see if I could still gauge the distance and the speed to stop the disc right where I wanted. Whether I still had the touch, the finesse and the feel of the game.

shuffleboard court

Are we even teaching that these days?  The touch and the finesse? The give with the take? The push and the pull?  Where do we develop the moderate hand that senses just how much is needed to nudge the other aside but leave my disk centered in the scoring triangle?

“Stay off the courts” it says. Oh, okay.

I suppose it’s a game for old men, a pastime whose time has passed. Maybe it’s moved indoors where folks don’t have to deal with the sand and the sun and the gawkers passing by.

I’ll come by later and see if I can find a game.

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Rest Easy…Really???

Rest Easy. Sounds inviting doesn’t it?

But wait. Let me secure your arms at your sides on this rolling stretcher and slide you into a cold metal tube that is inches from your face. Oh, and then let me turn on the intermittent jack-hammers. “See you in about two hours,” they tell me. Glad I am not claustrophobic. But still.

And still, am I. The one thing they do give you for distraction is head phones into which they pipe “your choice” of music. They used to give you three radio stations from which to choose. Now, they have Sirius radio. So I have chosen The Message. A Christian station. This is what plays in my car most of the time. That ‘most’ defined by whomever is in my passenger seat. When I am alone, that’s what’s playing.

I must say here that I really don’t listen to what’s on the radio. I hear it and I feel it. Sometimes I bee bop a bit to it (don’t mention this to my children) but I don’t really listen. Listening, to me, would mean I am paying attention to the words. In this case the lyrics. Music does not often grab my attention this way. Auditory attention is on down the list of my strong suits.

But, as I am strapped into this contraption, I am considering the concerns about my heart function. Concerns, heck, I am terrified about what diagnosis might come and what it might mean to my lifestyle and life-direction from here. And all of a sudden, they place the headphones over my ears and I am listening, not just hearing, but listening to the song on The Message. Like I’ve never heard it before. It’s Andrew Peterson’s, Rest Easy, from his new Album: Light for the Lost Boy

Here it is for your reading (and listening) pleasure.

Andrew Peterson – Rest Easy Lyrics

Listen while you read!

You are not alone
I will always be with you
Even to the end

You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in mine
So you can rest easy

Do not be afraid
Nothing, nothing in the world
Can come between us now

You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in mine
So you can rest easy

You work so hard to wear yourself down
And you’re running like a rodeo clown
You’re smiling like you’re scared to death
You’re out of faith and all out of breath
You’re so afraid you’ve got nowhere left to go

Well, you are not alone
I will always be with you

You don’t have to work so hard
You can rest easy
You don’t have to prove yourself
You’re already mine
You don’t have to hide your heart
I already love you
I hold it in mine
You can rest easy

I wish I could say I heard this and all was peaceful and quiet and calm. No. But rest did come easy then. I guess it was “my kind of rest.” The kind where the mind starts to wander, roving through memory and imagination. Thoughts of life moments and specific prayers gave way to physical sensation lending itself to the battle at hand. Inspirations held became chest shields. The MRI coil itself a chest plate that warms the heart. Finally, the “hold your breath” then “and breathe” became a training event. A series of 25 meter sprints.

I knew this from so many swim practices. Closing in on the far wall you are stroking hard, your chest about to burst, but you must make it. Whoosh. Your hand touches the stucco of the wall and you rake your head out of the water to gasp for air. Chest heaving. Inspiring. Gratifying air. You climb out, take your mark and do it again.

I could see my little 8 year old self, competing to see how many of these I could do without taking a breath. This was an event for which I had prepared. In this, for me, came ‘rest easy.’ “We’ve got this.”

I didn’t realize until later that the endurance event at the end was intended by the technician. She, on the other side of the microphone and outside the thickened walls of the MRI room, had gotten word that my scans were clear and I could tolerate the “breathing challenges.” This would speed my heart rate and thus the speed at which the images could be collected. I was actually sprinting to the finish and did not know it. I was, in fact, fit to finish fast. Go figure. The work of my heart and my life would resume just as it was with my business, Fit2Finish. (www.Fit2Finish.com)

Whether my heart was fit for the event before I went in the evil cylinder or it became so by prayer and pleading while I was inside, I don’t know. Won’t ever know. But I’m grateful. I’m wondering what endurance event God has planned for me next. But, for now, I am resting easy.

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