Sunday, November 29, 2009

The human creature: frail and fragile

Today I was reminded, in a small way, of just how replaceable I am. About 20 minutes prior to the close of my morning sermon my heart started racing, like I was in the 4th quarter of a basketball game. About 10 minutes before close, with my heart still racing, I started feeling very dizzy. As I was concluding with a prayer, I remember thinking: 'just don't faint'. Sadly, I was so focused on not fainting that I forget to bring a family up who were prepared to come into membership.

Worse yet, I don't even remember what I said during the last 10 minutes of my sermon. My wife assures me there was nothing heretical---though I did somehow manage to insert a quote by R.C. Ryle (mis-referenced as being from a Puritan book from the 1600's) on prayer that really had nothing to do with my sermon on the walls of Jericho (Josh 6/Heb 11:30). Oh well, one cannot be too disturbed by discovering his "default mode" when disoriented is to randomly quote Ryle.

I'm not too alarmed, and I have no known heart conditions. But, at my wife's insistence I will make a visist to the doctor this week and go through a bunch of tests (I assume).


  1. Gosh, I saw/heard nothing amiss. My helpmate, as a matter of fact, was raving about the sermon for 15 minutes on our way back from town this afternoon (in a good way). It appears things were still a little fuzzy when you wrote this, though - it's "J.C." Ryle, right? Perhaps you were having a Sproul interlude....

    It is indeed a reminder, as James states, that our lives are but a vapor. As someone so rightly put, "Our cemeteries are filled with irreplaceable people." Maybe it's my advancing years, but I've been more conscious of this lately - especially noting the lifespans of some of our predecessors in the faith:

    Martin Luther: 62
    John Calvin: 54
    Jonathan Edwards: 54
    Robert M'Cheyne: 29

    When I look at their output and their study/devotions/preaching in their short years - without computers - I hang my head in shame. So many years I wasted before age 40 and so much time wasted since. Would that I be a better steward of what God has given me.

  2. Just think...maybe you were close to being one of those legendary preachers who dies while preaching!

    Seriously, though, I'll be praying the doctors will help you understand what happened.