TO SLEEP: PERCHANCE TO DREAM …

“Ah, there’s the rub; for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause … “

Ah, the Bard could really turn a phrase, couldn’t he? Hamlet was considering suicide. But Hamlet and therefore the Bard seems to have missed a point. Both of them are going to die. As a contemporary wit has observed, “Nobody gets out alive.” All of us are going to die. It is not a matter of “if.” It’s a matter of “when.”

Just about a year ago I began to have severe pain when I twisted my torso even a little. A couple of weeks later I was in the hospital. I could not even get in bed; the pain was excruciating. I had to sleep in a recliner. As I understand my doctor a common gut bacteria managed to somehow get into my blood stream. They settled in my spine and right knee and began to munch away. Now my left knee was already shot, but I managed to get around by putting the stress on my right knee until, that is, the surgeons had to cut out all the infected parts of the right knee.

After 2 weeks in the hospital they implanted an IV port near my collar bone and sent me to a rehab facility to try to help me walk. The IV allowed the rehab facility to give me a “cocktail” of antibiotics. I’m a little fuzzy on the exact dates, but I know with certainty that the second day I was at the facility was the day that Gov. Hogan locked down all such facilities. After about two months I was finally able to crawl into my bed with limited pain. That was with the help of 2 Oxicotin and 4 Oxicodine a day. After the 3rd month they finally sent me home after a short visit back to the hospital to remove the IV port. I still had to take Amoxicillin for another 2 months and have several more MRIs. They could not operate on my spine which already had severe arthritis.

My orthopedist has got me walking better, but I need to use a “walker” to help straighten my spine and because of the stress and pain in my back I tire easily. I’m starting physical therapy on my back next week.

So this is my tale of woe. My 74th year was a waste. I’ll be 75 this weekend and I think I’m about to the end of the line. I may have a month or another year, but this I know – I am going to die. And so are YOU. It’s just a matter of when. My family doctor won’t give me anything stronger for the pain than Tramadol so I am still in a lot of pain.

Like Hamlet I have considered ending it early. Not by suicide. That is not allowed for us Christians. But I do think occasionally about stopping all my meds and stopping my numerous doctor visits and allow the natural course of events to play out.

I am ready to go anytime. Many, many years ago I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and be my Lord. What I do think about a lot is all my friends who are not saved. Over those many years I’ve heard a great variety of ideas about God and Jesus. A coworker once told me he thought Jesus was an alien from outer space. A good friend told me he thought going to church fairly regularly would give him a better resume. Then, of course, there are folks who intend to maintain their current lifestyle and accept Christ just before they die. I once had a coworker who was I really nice guy in his forties. Then one day we got word he had died of a heart attack. We can never be certain of the “when.”

I hope that each one of you will give serious thought to your relationship to God. It’s really pretty simple. God loves you. But you (by you I mean all of us) have this problem of sin that separates you from God. Jesus died so that you could be forgiven. Jesus wants to come into your life and provide that forgiveness. There is no shortage of material to help you understand all of this on the internet and in literature. Start by reading the first 4 books of the New Testament. You can access it all online. I suggest you read the New American Standard version or the New International Version. They’re easier to read.

I never got on Facebook to get a long list of friends (the book I used to set up my Blog suggested getting on FB), but I have enjoyed it. If any of you have contact with former coworkers or classmates with whom I have lost contact I would appreciate it greatly if you would share this posting with them.

Please make sure you are saved. Someday we’ll do lunch in Heaven’s cafe.

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