At a retreat I once attended, the leader told us a story about having to undergo unexpected surgery to have one of his heart valves replaced. He woke up in the hospital room and heard what he thought was construction work on the street outside, but slowly realized that the loud, rhythmic noise was the sound of his refashioned heart beating. The new valve had somehow amplified the churning of the blood and now the man could hear —and feel—the process that had been keeping him alive without his even thinking of it.
I’ve not had heart surgery (though my doctor reminds me incessantly that if I don’t lay off the butter, I will seriously be a prime candidate at some point), but I know from my own journey that it’s often undergoing something difficult, even painful, that awakens us to the undeserved gift of life we’ve received and asks us to do something with that gift. To make a difference with our life.
So, whether your days are filled with happiness or uncertainty or some mixture of the two, whatever kind of “surgery” you’re undergoing this season, take some time to listen (literally) to your life.
I try to remember, in the mornings before I throw back the covers and grind the coffee beans and turn on the computer, to put my hand on my chest, to say thanks, and to remember that it’s today that I’m invited to to do something. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, but today.
Mantra/prayer: O Heart, help me grateful.