After my friend Ron suffered a heart attack, a cardiologist told him it was a miracle he survived. A fully staffed ambulance just happened to be 100 feet away, and a crack medical team administered the life-saving care he needed. Ron doesn’t take the same risks with his heart that he used to. He’s traded in his triple bacon lardburger for things like salads and whole grains. He walks more and worries less. Except that I made the mistake of telling him about my greatest fear: having a heart attack while playing the game Charades. Imagine. You’re clutching your chest and people are guessing. “Uh, let’s see. He’s clutching his chest. Clutch. Brake. Ok, now he’s flopping on the floor. Fish! You’re a fish.”
Thankfully, there are things we can do today for a healthy heart. First, get some fresh air. Your heart appreciates a simple walk. Then, avoid binging on Coke, deep fried butter donuts and other foods that have all the nutritional value of radial tires. Cardiologists recommend things like fruits, nuts, veggies, whole grains, beans and unsaturated fats. My rancher son and I love a good steak. But more often we choose chicken or fish over red meat. And my wife loves it when I tell her that dark chocolate lowers bad cholesterol. After all, a study shows that women who are a bit overweight live longer…than the men who point it out to them.
You know the Bible has much to say about a healthy heart. In the Bible, we learn that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. That a cheerful is good medicine. Proverbs 4 says, “Above all else, guard your hearts.” This has nothing to do with cholesterol, but with what we’re feeding our souls and minds on. In Ezekiel 36, God promises, “I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
I’m so thankful that day has come. When Jesus hanged on a cross, He paid the price so that our sin-sick hearts could be cleansed. When we come to Him in faith, God performs a divine heart transplant – removing our old hearts of stone and replacing them with hearts of flesh. Hearts that desire righteousness. Hearts that love God and others.
So give thanks to God for His amazing grace and take care of your heart today. Eat some salad. Go for a walk. And stay away from the game Charades.