My recent near bout with death has, I suppose, made me much more contemplative of essential issues of life. Leprosy set in first, I think, followed by rickets, diphtheria, yellow fever, Ebola, the black plague, tuberculosis and malaria.
Mind you, my wife derisively referred to my clearly deadly ailments as "man cold," but what does she know? Ladies' ailments are notably less severe than the exact same ailments among men, so they have no capacity to understand what torments we go through.
Anyway, back to the essential issues of life that flitted across my disoriented mind during my deepest moments of delirium.
To begin with, why is it that a man and wife can be sitting in the same room utterly silently for an hour or more reading or working, but the moment the man rises and walks out of the room and gets halfway down the hall, the wife will mumble "Mmmrhf gybbuts snvvvclts," forcing the man to turn back around, go back into the room he just left and say, "What?"
Second, why is it that people cannot grasp the concept of continuing to drive on the right side of the road when it comes to making a turn or a U-turn at an intersection on the highway? And while we are talking about driving, I recently saw an excellent meme that said, "The Lord moves in mysterious ways. But you don't have to. Use your blinker." And before I leave the subject of driving, please be aware that no minivan anywhere was designed for the left-hand lane on the interstate, even if you paint flames on it and outfit it with shiny plastic hubcaps from Walmart.
Third, I am not sure if it is a Verizon thing or an Android issue, but it takes me 32 seconds to actually get to listen to my voicemail after the mechanical voice tells me what number it came from, when it was sent, how many seconds it was, how many other saved emails I have and asks me to press a button if I want to listen.
Thirty-two seconds. A voicemail from John the Baptist telling me about current events in heaven would not pique my interest enough to wade through that.
Fourth, we initially named our new Rumba self-driving vacuum cleaner at church "Room-Bob." But then, when it spoke to us, we found that it has a female voice, so we switched the name to "Room-Barb." Room-Barb continuously gets stuck under the bottom crossbar of the exact same table. Every. Single. Day. You may feel free to insert your own female driver joke if you like; even in my delirium, I would not risk the ire of my bride like that.
OK, I actually would.
Fifth, I really miss Ronald Reagan. I did not know, as I watched and listened to him way back then, that he represented a dying breed of statesmen who were honest, firm, honorable and strong, all while also being gracious, self-deprecating, humble and comforting.
Sixth, why are hotel blankets (I spent two of my nearly dying days in a hotel while preaching a meeting) 6 inches thick, made of industrial insulation and designed to make you feel like you are napping in an active volcano no matter how low you set the air conditioner?
Seven, why did no one ever tell me that when you reach a certain age, half of your daily caloric intake would come from vitamins and supplements?
Eight, my daughter is now a nurse. And while her accomplishment in this should make me think of nothing but paternal pride, my greater joy in it is actually pushing her buttons on the subject. I delight in telling her everything I read on WebMD; doctors and nurses get the most forced, unnatural grin on their face when one does this.
Nine, while thinking on medical issues, my moments of delirium did produce what I believe to be a truly valid question, especially given our modern, advanced capabilities. Why do nighttime cold and flu medicines last for exactly four hours, at which time they wear off like suddenly falling off of a cliff, waking one up abruptly as all of the coughing and hacking and leprosy come crashing back in? Could we not shoot for, say, an eight-hour medicine that would render such unpleasant, middle-of-the-night wakings a thing of the past?
I am better now. I survived what would kill an ordinary man. And weird delirium-produced musings notwithstanding, I am grateful that a better day is coming. For the born-again child of God, one day there will be no more death, sorrow, crying or pain (Revelation 21:4). There will also be nothing that is defiling or deceitful (Revelation 21:7). The curse on creation will be gone; no more thorns, nature will be at peace and everything that grows will be beneficial (Revelation 22:3). No one who loves sin will be there; everyone will be in perfect agreement on matters of righteousness (Revelation 22:15).
Even man colds will be forever missing from that place; God would never allow such painful, traumatic things into his good kingdom.
Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, North Carolina, a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books available on Amazon and at wordofhismouth.com. Email him at email@example.com.