Usually by now I have made my New Year’s resolutions including the usual – lose weight, exercise, eat less, reduce debt, etc. This year I haven’t made my usual list, and instead I have boiled it all down to a simple phrase – I am going to keep my eyes peeled, and my ears open. After my transplant but before I was allowed home, I had to meet with a physical therapist. He had check out whether I was ready physically to get around and to climb my stairs at home. I think he must have had a minor in philosophy as well as being a certified therapist. As we were walking the halls and steps of the hospital checking out my readiness for “going home,” he and I talked. He said, “ listen to your body. It will always be telling you something. It is constantly sending you signals.” These last six months of recovery his advise has proven true. If I listened, I could tell when I needed to slow down, and when I needed to do more. My body also sent me early warning signals when I developed a virus; even though, my blood work didn’t show it yet, and I didn’t know how to read them.
More importantly, I heeded his advice about my life in general. If you really pay attention to your life even if it is limited and limiting there are extraordinary vistas that open up. Life is constantly sending you signals about your job, family, circumstances, and your call. Simply doing a day’s work, watching nature out my window, walking the neighborhood, or having lunch with friends, each to me became valuable and precious. All of a sudden there was no event so commonplace that God failed to appear. I began, as Frederick Buechner suggests, to “Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.” What was a boring day or a painful experience was telling me something about myself. I could learn from negative experiences as much as exciting and happy times. Each experience, each moment, offered up solutions to the mystery I indentify as myself. So this year I think I will just see, hear, touch, and smell my way. Listening, constantly listening, to every moment for in “the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”
Your Friend, Webb