Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taking It To Heart

I'm sure you've been told, probably more than once, some of the amazing statistics concerning the human heart.  It beats over 2.5 billion times in the average life span, moving around 1800 gallons of blood a day. There are many others.  My plunge into the wonders of the heart began 12 years ago when I switched jobs to work for a medical device company that makes pacemakers and implantable defibrillators. During that time one of the things that has impressed me most about the human heart is its ability to keep functioning to some degree in the face of all sorts of insult and injury. Starve it of oxygen by clogging arteries. Kill off some of the tissue. Poison it with chemicals.  Stick some wires in it.  It still keeps on beating.  Maybe a little slower, maybe not quite so coordinated, maybe part of it goes nuts for a while. But it can still move some blood around.

It's a good thing too, because when it quits, you quit (unless you happen to be on the operating table getting a transplant).  So we exercise and try to eat right to keep our hearts fit and keep the plumbing open to ease its job of moving blood around, bringing oxygen to our brain and tissues.

There is another heart that we talk about sometimes, the heart of our mind. The inner sanctum of our will. That place that Jesus talks about so much. The thought strikes me: is my spiritual heart as resilient as my physical heart? How much spiritual exercise am I getting, and what sorts of spiritual food am I taking in?

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