WHEW! That was quite an experience! Nothing like having a few hundred volts of electricity sent coursing through your heart to bring your purpose, or actually God’s purpose for you, clearly back into focus.

I am a stubborn man by nature, as my wife, Janet, has all too often had to point out to me, and of which I cannot deny. This became very clear back in the early part of March. I will not bore you with all of the details, but let’s just say that I woke up one morning with a little heart fluctuation issue. Now most people, after an hour or so of this, would probably call a doctor or go to the hospital. Me being the manly man that I am (stubborn), thought I would tough it out for a bit and it would eventually just go away.

THREE DAYS LATER (very stubborn, and not that bright), Janet and our daughter insisted on taking me to the emergency room. I was so exhausted that I could no longer conceal what was going on. I walked into the emergency room and told the very nice lady at the check in desk that I was having a heart fluctuation issue. She right away directed me into a room where there was a nurse waiting to check my vitals. She sat me down and calmly began to take my pulse. The next thing I know, she is on the phone calling what sounded like the medical equivalent of the swat team.

She walked me directly across the hall and opened a door to a room with no less than ten medical professionals just waiting for me. They of course laid me down on a table, started putting in I.V.’s, and began strapping electrodes all over my chest. The doctor asked how long my heart had been racing like this. It was now Wednesday afternoon, and I told him that it had been beating like this since Monday morning. Everyone in the room just kind of stopped and looked at each other. Then they all turned and looked directly at me.

Me, trying to lighten the tension in the room, said, “what seems to be the problem, doctor?” He, the doctor, was apparently not a lighthearted kind of guy. He quite directly and matter of factly told me that my heart rate was at 206, and had been in that range for the past three days. They had to get me out of that rhythm as quickly as possible. They started by injecting me a couple of times with a drug that was supposed to bring my heart rate back down to normal. That did not work. That is when they decided they needed to shock me back into normalcy. That did the trick.


I ended up spending the night in the hospital for observation. They conducted some more tests and concluded that there was no damage to my heart. One of the attending medical professionals mentioned that I should have been wearing one of those fit bit’s. He said that it probably would have measured that I had run the equivalent of over ten marathons (I guess I can now check running a marathon off of my “bucket list”). All of the medical professionals that I did see during my stay did say the same thing: “Don’t be so stubborn and wait so long if this ever happens again”.

This was not one of my better moments and I realize now the risk that I was taking by doing nothing. Being stubborn is not one of my finer qualities and never has much of an upside to it. It also made me realize, once again, how fragile life is and that tomorrow is not promised to us.

This experience started to bring things back into focus for me. What is God’s purpose for me? Even if I don’t know exactly what that purpose is, I do know that doing nothing is not an option anymore. No more waiting. No more procrastinating. No more doing nothing. In James 2:17 it says: “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”


I’m not going to continue to spend my days having faith and not doing anything about it. God has blessed me with a passion for writing. A passion for sharing my thoughts, my ideas, and my journey, with others. It gives me the chance to be an open book and to share my faith in a way that I might not be able to do otherwise. I stopped writing because I got “busy” with other things. Other things that I now know were not that important, but were just my way of putting off what God had been whispering in my ear for such a long time to do. I may just shine shoes for a living, but that does not define who I am. God has intended and created all of us to be more than what our day jobs are. He has created us and given us the opportunity to have faith and to take action that reflects that faith.

I am sharing all of this with you now for a couple of reasons. One is so that you will continue to know a little more about me and who I am. The other reason is so that you will help me to be held accountable. Accountable to take an action. We were not meant to take this journey by ourselves. I certainly know that I cannot do it alone. I need others to come alongside and help me on this rocky road we call life. Holding each other accountable is part of that journey.

God touched my heart in a very special way back in early March. Even if it did take a few hundred volts of electricity for me to really feel it.

God bless all of you and the actions you take today!

John Close-Up (498x700)


8 thoughts on “206

  1. John I am glad to here that you are ok now. That’s a VERY scary situation and you should NEVER take those things lightly. Stubbornness sometimes equates to stupidity. (NO OFFENSE).

  2. John….so sorry to hear you are having heart problems. The tachachardia, which my Mom had, runs in the Early family. I had a very similar experience last month and am dealing with the after effects of letting my heart ” gallop” instead of “walk” for such a long period of time. Lifelong medication is the key. Thanks for sharing your story. Hope your family is well.

  3. John, thank you for sharing this with all of us. I am so glad to hear you are on a better track health wise. It is heart warming to see a man fulfilled in his faith and moving forward in it. God bless and may God continue to guide you on your journey.

  4. We all get busy and think “this will go away.” And, how many times have people gone to the doctor to be told “it’s nothing but stress.” I’m so glad this has a good ending and you’re still around to inspire and provide peace!

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