Thursday, April 11, 2013

Regular maintenance works both ways . . .

Regular maintenance has many benefits.

Yesterday, at my oncologist's office, I "swallowed" a small capsule of radioactive iodine (just enough to light me up for my scan tomorrow morning.)   I get the results on April 24th.

I felt a bit nauseated the rest of the day, and through most of last night.  Nothing serious . . . just that queazy sort of feeling that let's you know something isn't quite right.

Funny, I experienced no nausea what-so-ever back in October when I swallowed the "BIG" dose of radioactive iodine to treat my cancer, after-which I was in seclusion away from people for a week.

A thought or two have come to my mind in regards to "getting the results"  . . .  

-If my cancer is indeed "gone" this time around, is it still my cancer?

-If it's gone . . . I sure don't want it back!

Anyway, I didn't feel well enough this morning to attend the Thursday morning Iron Men study at IHop in Euless, which is the study I lead.  About 9:30 AM, I rolled out of the house and went to Lowe's to buy a small tool bag, then to my barber's for a haircut (and dose of testosterone - figuratively speaking), and then went by the church to pick up my Guild F-50R Jumbo 6-string, and my Taylor sinker-redwood GS.  From there it was over to Grapevine Guitar Works, where I spent 3 glorious hours in the privacy of their repair room.

Thank you to Sean Simon (owner of GGW) for giving me the key to that wonderful, wonderful room.

Here is where the "regular maintenance" thing comes in.

I wrote a few days ago, and shared with my wife and a few others, that I was just about ready to sell all my guitars, except my Martin, and chuck the whole music thing.  The feeling I had at that time was a bit over-whelming.  I've missed a lot of work this past year, and backed-off most of my therapeutic music entertainment schedule so I could put all my energies, on those days when I could better focus, on the ministries at the church.

Things like:

-Pastoral care of others . . .

-Advent and Christmas . . .

-Writing sermons . . .

-Holy Week and Easter . . .

-Our new Sunday morning Worship schedule change . . .

By the way . . . I am finishing my 8th year as the Senior Associate Pastor at FUMC-Grapevine.  To be honest, I'm really excited about the next 8 years.

Back to my story now about selling my guitars . . .

After sharing with Liz, she lovingly and wisely counseled me that I was probably experiencing the fatigue related side-effect that we were warned would follow my having had a Thyrogen injection on Monday and another again on Tuesday.

In other words, she said, "honey, you hit-the-wall."

She was right.  The fatigue I felt on Tuesday was like the fatigue I felt in between my second surgery and over a month later when I finally got on thyroid hormone replacement.  It was awful.

So today . . . I took my most used 6-strings into the GGW repair room, turned on the light, closed the door behind me . . . and began to clean and polish the body, neck and fret boards of both guitars.  Then I re-strung both with fresh Martin SP Medium Phosphor Bronze strings.  I also made a needed adjustment to the neck / truss rod of the Guild (something you do ever slow slowly and carefully).

Both guitars played better and easier than they did before I started to work on them.

In other words, I didn't screw up either of them!!!!

All told . . . 3 glorious hours of careful yearly maintenance on two already excellent guitars.

-I didn't rush.

-I took my time.

It was heaven.

It was then that I realized I was feeling very clear headed and calm.  I didn't feel fatigued.  I was actually in a good mood. I'm pretty sure I smiled.

In other words . . . I felt great!!!!  About time.

OK, now here is the part about how regular maintenance works both ways . . .

In the process of working today on my guitars, and later on a 3rd guitar at home, I felt such a strong feeling of humbleness, gratitude and appreciation for the fact that I have these special guitars in my life (several were gifts to me), that I stopped . . .

I stopped, and out of a grateful heart, I gave thanks to God.

Then it occurred to me . . . I have been focused a lot this week on cancer stuff (3 doctors office visits, a body scan, and blood work), and in the process I had not prayed since worship this past Sunday morning.

Note . . . when I say "I haven't prayed," that means that I haven't sung either.

Guess I had been focusing on the wrong things this week.

Go ahead . . . say it . . . you know you want to . . .

"You guess??"

Thanks, I needed and deserved that. Message received loud and clear.

Seems that while I was doing the maintenance on my guitars, regular maintenance that they need every year . . . I got, in the process, a needed tune-up as well.

There is one thing I know from experience about preventive maintenance . . . It has to be done "regularly."

Same goes for prayer, personal Bible study, worship as well as time spent discipling others (IMHO).

Do you, or does something in your life, need a tune-up?

-Your home?

-Your car?

-Your relationships?

-Your health?

-Your life?

Take care of it soon . . . you will be glad you did, in more ways than one.

God's grace still amazes me . . . ><>

PS . . .

I also had a great conversation, and re-connected in the process, with Rocky Gribble of Grapevine Opry House fame.  He shared a couple of stories with me about his Martin D-35.  That conversation led to my decision to give my guitars a tune up.

I also had a great conversation this week with Sarah Oliver, the Director of our Creative Learning Center.  Looks like I will be doing TME work with the children there a couple times a month this next school year as part of their new afternoon learning-development curriculum.  I am truly excited about this!!!  More info to come.

1 comment:

doodlebugmom said...

prayers for you Rick!