Diastole

I began this morning with a visit to Wikipedia, a follow up to a word that caught my attention in an earlier read. I am fascinated by the body and its resilience and personally in need of physical, mental and emotional renewal, given the most demanding year of my life.

“Diastole (pron.: /daɪˈæstəliː/) is the period of time when the heart refills with blood after systole (contraction). Ventricular diastole is the period during which the ventricles are relaxing, while atrial diastole is the period during which the atria are relaxing.”

Diastole, a time when the heart refills with blood seemed an appropriate descriptor for this particular window of time in my life. The political valve in my life now seems to have contracted, at least for a while, and my daughter and new son-in-law are settling into their new life after the October wedding. Perhaps it is time for a season of refreshing, reflection and recovery.

I certainly have work to do, and well beyond anything I ever dreamed, but for now must arrest this sense of calling that daily compels me to involve myself in the greater community. Specific to our local community, these last five years in office have brought a keen awareness of our potential, albeit the political uncertainties, if we are to hold our place economically in the region. Of course, Federal and State decisions will for sure create unknown twists of their own! Not to speak of the ongoing challenges of the institution of church and even education, both dear to my heart.

Managing personal income in a trying time; exerting community leadership in the political arena; while participating in a somewhat non-traditional pastoral role within the church at large, will certainly require courage, stamina and a small margin for insanity at best.

All this was made even more obvious recently as I witnessed our previous Governor being kicked to the curb by her own party, with far less than the honor due to anyone willing to run for that office. Politics and religion, like busy highways are dangerous arenas in which to play!

Knowing that I am approaching my 65th birthday and 40th year as a Christ-follower while at the same time reading Billy Graham’s “Nearing Home” should give one some idea of where my head is. The subtitle, “Life, Faith and Finishing Well” should also provide ample declaration of my intention.

Having a life of any quality is difficult given the time requirements touched on above; and faith, often a dark journey, is certainly critical if one is to survive. Perhaps the most important, “finishing well” will require diastolic recovery, a resting period, a reordering of one’s thoughts; ironically, the most difficult assignment for anyone of visionary tendency. The ability to see around the bend has its liabilities, for one can only travel at the speed at which they are able to persuade others.

I trust, like Moses, that these 40 years of learning will be more powerfully used once the heart is again filled with new blood for the new year!

Happy New Year!!

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