Marked By Grace

On Saturday March 12 I was on the treadmill at the gym, squeezing in a workout before heading to the church for worship. A few minutes in, I collapsed, my heart in a “fatal arhythmia”. I’m told that a gym employee, who was not scheduled to be there that day, started CPR. A doctor happened to be working out nearby and jumped in to help. It turns out that the day before he had been re-certified in the use of A.E.D. machines, and used the gym’s AED to restart my heart.
At the hospital I learned I had an artery 95-99% blocked, and a heart by-pass operation has given me a fresh start: the docs tell me I can be running half-marathons this time next year!
I’m sure this experience will shape me in more ways than I can tell, but so far my dominant impressions are:
1. God wants me here. The heart cath doc showed me my blockage and said “You are one lucky guy…” and another tech said “someone must be watching over you..”.  I believe God in his grace wants me here.
2. I don’t control as much as I think I do. I tried to eat right and work out. I wasn’t overweight and my levels were all normal. But I still went down. And through no merit or efforts of my own, I am here today and will be healthier than I was before. I live by grace.
I have joined the ranks of those who sport the chest “zipper”;  when I see my scar in the future, it will remind me that I am “marked by grace”.