Have you ever noticed how many assumptions we make? Not just “I assumed you meant…” or “I assumed you wanted me to…” or “I assumed you would know…”. We make those–and pay for those–a lot.
But there are other assumptions we make we don’t even realize. Like, “I assume my body will work” or even “I assume I’ll be alive tonight”.
Monday morning I got up, went into the gym (as usual) and did my weight workout (recovery routine for my leg). As usual it took about an hour. At the end, I felt a little light headed, so I leaned for just a moment on the end of an aisle of machines.
Then there was this guy saying, “Hey buddy, do you know who you are?” (I hate that question). “Hey buddy, do you know where you are?” (I hate that one too, and I didn’t at first).
I looked up to, for the fifth time in my memory, see that circle of heads looking down at me curiously. Then I remembered. “I’m at the gym”. Then the speaker, an off duty fire-fighter who was also working out said, “You just went down hard and put a hole in the wall with your head.” (That part shouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone who knows me:-)).
Lots of activity. Lots of people. An ambulance ride. ANOTHER ER VISIT (I don’t like those–makes my leg hurt). All to find out that my diet, working out, shifting my weight from fat (nearly 6 months of inactivity doesn’t help) to muscle–all had been effective in lowering my blood pressure:-). The only problem was that I was still on two blood pressure medications (to lower it). Bad combination. Heads will loll–into the wall.
I assumed I would complete my workout and drive home. Didn’t work out that way. But, after getting the diagnosis in the ER and a couple of IVs because that’s what they do, I assumed I would get a ride from someone back to the gym, get my car, and go back home.
Then the nurse comes in and tells me I’m low in potassium and makes me drink a vile liquid (punishment for coming into the ER on a Monday morning). They started to do an IV and I asked, “Why can’t I just take that orally so I can leave?”. The nurse said she’d talk to the doc. The doc came in and told me to back off the blood pressure meds. The nurse came in and said “eat bananas” and handed me my discharge papers. I assumed I was now good.
Two days later I had a follow up with a new doc (mine quit–I think it was me). He addressed the blood pressure issue by taking me off of both meds and saying we would monitor it. Sounded good. Then he asked about my potassium.
I told him I had it handled–I started taking a multi-vitamin with potassium. I assumed that was good.
He rolled his eyes, looked into mine and said, “You could die right now and it wouldn’t surprise me–and I couldn’t do anything about it.” Seems my potassium was more than “eat bananas” low.
Today my blood pressure is testing good, I’m off the meds, and I’m on a mega potassium supplement (hopefully getting it to a good level–we’ll see what the blood I gave today tells them:-)). So I assume I’m good, right?
James warns against us assuming anything. Instead, he says, “you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” (James 4:15 NIV)
The truth is, we can’t even assume we will be alive tonight. So friends, live well now. Be faithful, and recognize that even our breath is given by the Lord.
We can’t assume it will be there for the next one. But we can be grateful when it is.