Have you ever seen your own heart beat?  I have… and it was a surreal experience.   

The average heart beats 72 times per minute. In one day it beats over 100,000 times. In one year that’s almost 38 million, and by the time we are 70 (If we live that long) our heart has made 2.5 billion beats!  An average heart pumps 1.3 gallons per minuet… 1,900 gallons per day, almost 700,000 gallons per year, or 48 million gallons in a lifetime.  Not bad for a 10 ounce pump!  That is a miracle of life… evidence of God’s creation.

Sunday night I had chest pain severe enough for Pam to take me to the E.R.  My doctor decided to do all the tests necessary to rule out the most dangerous possiblilites.  That meant having an arteriorgram done.  Which I did and is how I was able to see MY OWN heart beating as it was beating.  THAT was surreal!!

In short… my heart is fine.  Only my left anterior descending artery was 40% blocked, but that was not enough to cause chest pain.  There was no evidence of cardiac problems.  In fact… all the tests were negative.  The doctors can’t tell me why I had chest pain.

But someting… somewhere… caused the pain.  It was severe enough to make me stop, take notice, and start trying to track down the source so that it could be corrected.

Thought: Pain is good!  Without it, we wouldn’t know when something is wrong in our body.  But physical pain is not the only kind that should make us stop and evaluate our condition.  There is also emotional and spiritual pain that signals to us something is wrong and steps are needed to protect our emotional and spiritual health.

Emotional and spiritual pain signals something is not as it should be in our life.  Historically Christians have described that discomfort as “The conviction of the Holy Spirit.”  It has been understood as God’s way of tapping us on the shoulder to get our attention… deal with some issue in our life… and walk closer with Him.

Whereas corrections are made in diet and excercise to improve our phisical condition… there are things that help improve our spiritual condition.  If changes and improvements are not made (physically and/or spiritually), a price will be paid sooner or later.  Deterioriation will continue until destruction takes place… many times simply because we ignored the warnings.

Some spiritual warning signs are: Anger, jealousy, bitterness, and hurt feelings.  Those could signal a need to find out what is amiss in our spirit and correct it. 

Actually, anything contrary to what is written in Galatians 5:22-24 is worthy of addressing… “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (ESV)

Contributors to spiritual health are: Examination of our walk with Christ… Confession of sin… Repentace from sin… and devotion to walking with Jesus.  All of these are essential for us to stay close to God.  Along with those there is reading Scripture in order to know God better helps stay spiritually healthy.  Praying in order to hear from God helps stay spiritually healthy.  Talking with other Christians about God is a way to encourage and be encouraged which contributes to our spiritual health.

Don’t ignore physical or spiritual pain (discomfort).  Both are good and intended to make us stop… evaluate… and take the appropriate steps to correct problems so that we can stay spiritually and physically healthy.

Special thanks to my protectors and angels: My wife Pam and Dr. Brad McAnalley.