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Sometimes You Just Can't Win

By Neal Stone ~

So on August 4th I had what I thought would be a routine visit with my cardiologist about my mitro-valve prolapse. Pardon my spelling, ain't no doctor.

My heart has always been good and strong and even with this condition I was never in any danger of serious heart problems. Unless the heart chamber grew, then it would be surgery.

On August 2nd just before my doctor appointment, I started having problems with my heart pounding, tightness in my chest and dizziness. I've had heart palpitations before, just not like this or this bad. So it scared me! I never had a heart attack, but sure felt I was having some serious problems. We decided to go to the ER to be safe. After a few hours I was released with no serious problems. I was never in any danger. NEVER GOOGLE SYMPTOMS, JUST CALL THE DAMN HOSPITAL!

So on the 4th I see my doctor and he was concerned. He started talking about the possibility of surgery. But to be sure he wanted to do some tests and see what my heart condition was before we went that route. But at the time he felt surgery may be the case.

Since I was 18 I have been an avid bicyclist. I ride everywhere when I can and walk a lot as well, but my eating habits have always been bad. I drank more soda in a day than most people do in a couple weeks. I would average 60 to 80 ounces A DAY! And I was having heart palpitations, fathom that!

At my doctor appointment, hearing the S word (surgery) something just snapped. My soda and bad eating habits were no longer a choice. So that night the wife and I ran to Safeway and picked up juice and fruits and healthy stuff to snack on and for lunches.

Wait a minute Neal, what has this got to do with Ex-Christians? You'll see.

So after all this starts I decided to do what any good Internet user would do. I posted to Facebook. I have a lot of Christian friends so you can probably guess what the majority of the comments were. Take a guess. Hint it's those four words we all want to hear, “I'll pray for you”. I got a few who would keep me in their thoughts too. It always makes me smile when someone says that.

I got one person, my neighbor Michelle, who offered to help us in anyway should it come to me having open heart surgery. But the one's wanting to pray for me kind of annoyed me. Now many of these friends were sincere and were probably trying to lift my spirits, but it still annoyed me. By the way, thanks Michelle for offering to help. That was sweet. Glad you're my neighbor.

Why? Because the “I'll pray for you” line has always been an easy cop-out when it comes to helping someone. None of those who offered to pray, offered money, food, assistance around the house or anything along that line. Plus on top of that they will think it will actually do some good.

Well after 12 days of fretting the results are back. I am as healthy as an ox, do NOT need surgery or medications and as long as I stay healthy, eat healthy and exercise I should be able to go a long time like this.

In fact, once I cut off the soda and junk food, all of the problems I was experiencing just up and went away. Wow, it's magic! NO IT'S FLAT OUT HEALTHY LIVING! But we all know what my friends are going to say now that I have announced the final results. It's gonna be “Praise God, He answers prayer” and they will totally ignore the health habit changes I made.

Now here is the kicker. If I drink more than 40 ounces of soda or eat something real sugary, guess what happens? The symptoms come back. SURPRISE! NOT!!!!

So many Christians probably assumed I feared death. Not really, I just didn't want to die now. My life is finally going places so why stop now? Not to mention all the people I am close to in my life. I really don't want to have to say goodbye to them.

Even my doctor, you know the heart EXPERT, agrees that my healthy eating and exercise make all the difference. But we all know the Christians will ignore that and go straight to giving God the credit even though he didn't do squat. God ain't the one on the bike or changing his eating habits. I AM.

But then the lesson here is just that some people have a dire need to believe in something like miracles. Sure, what happened could be seen as a miracle, but I am the one who created it. By choice, not by blind faith or prayer. Christians sometimes (a lot) claim that your prayers go unanswered because you don't have enough faith regardless of how many pray for you. They try to make you the blame when their prayers for you don't get answered.

Well I never prayed for myself in this matter. Not once did I ask God for help. Instead I just snapped to it and made the changes I felt would make a difference. And well what do you know? Shazam (great show by the way) I feel better! And I had no faith God would do anything. But you know that Christians have to have an excuse for this too because “God is just showing you his love to bring you back to him”. Yeah sure, you go with that. As for me and my house, we will not serve the false Lord. Been there, done that, no thanks.

And what really gets me is the number of church goers who offered to at least pray, yet the one who doesn't go to church offered to jump right in and help us out. Do I doubt my Christian friends sincerity? Not really, this is just the mindset you are taught. It becomes so easy when all you have to do is pray and just believe. It also becomes sad when I see so many who could do so much with their lives just wasting away and spinning their wheels being the church robot.

When you make a sacrifice it should be for your good, not your harm. I made a sacrifice in some of the goodies I enjoy eating and it was for my good. I changed and started on a healthier diet and am as happy and healthy as I could be.

But we know Christians will just accuse me of being blind or having a false hope or feeling. They will still claim THEIR prayers were answered.

Sigh, you just can't win.