“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
Colossians 2:8

Though I have never actually been taken captive, in a literal sense, I did experience a time in my life when I was unable to do what I wanted to do for a while, and experienced the fear of having events move beyond your control. In the winter of 1985 I was teaching high school and came down with a bad cold which turned to pneumonia. I stayed home for a week, took the medications and went back to work when the doctor told me I could. The cough persisted, then got worse. I had trouble breathing at night, and got dizzy often. The doctor would put me back on medication, I would get better for a while, then when the medication stopped, I’d be worse. Finally, after two months or more of battling this, I went to another doctor at the urging of a friend. I found out that the pneumonia had settled in the pericardial tissue, and then into the heart itself. The prognosis was uncertain, the treatment included testing and rest in the hospital for six weeks. For the first time in my life, I was held captive in circumstances beyond my control.

As you might expect, my prayer life was strengthened immeasureably by the experience. I was serving as a bi-vocational youth pastor and several times, I woke up from a dazed sort of nap to find a church member standing over me, praying for me. Faith was all I had, and I am very glad I did have it, because I don’t know what I would have done without it. I practically wore out a Bible while I was laying in bed. It was one of the best times in my life for getting close to the Lord and developing my personal discipleship. I don’t recommend it, though.

I can’t imagine what it would feel like to be held captive by the philosophy of this world. I guess that’s where real hopelessness comes from. I’m glad I don’t know what that feels like. I’m glad I’ve learned that I can check out anything that is said, taught or preached against what the Bible says, teaches and preaches.


About LS

I'm 56, happily married for 25 years, B.A., M.A., career educator with experience in education as a teacher and administrator, native Arizonan living in Pennsylvania, working on a PhD and a big fan of the Arizona Wildcats, mainly in football and basketball.

3 responses

  1. jasonk says:

    My mom had a similar experience to yours. She could not shed the cough and cold she had. The doc was treating her for pneumonia. We finally convinced her to go to a different doc, who diagnosed her with congestive heart failure. Her heart had an ejection factor of only about 10% (it should be upwards of 85%). Not that an earlier diagnosis would have mattered, she is 66 years old, and has smoked most of her life, but still, you never know. That is something a first year med student should have known.

  2. lees1975 says:

    My condition, which was complicated by CHF, was known as myocarditis. It still holds me captive, to a handful of meds to increase my ejection factor, and most recently, an implanted defibrillator to slow down the heart rate, which, with the medication, has me back over 40%. Fortunately, I am able to live with the outcome, manage the risks and continue to be alive, for which I am grateful. I’ve learned to look for little blessings every day, and enjoy the simple things in life.

  3. jasonk says:

    I’m glad you are managing the disease. When I talked to the docs about my mom, they said that usually in a case of CHF, the symptoms can be effectively managed for many many years, and people can live for a very long time. I guess that’s because the causes of the disease are many. Obese people can lose weight, for example. But for my mom, the effects are managable only on a small level, since she smoked so many years, and continues to do so. “Why quit now?” is her mantra, and its hard to disagree. Isn’t it interesting that when you get screwed up by someone or something out of your control, it is easier to overcome it than if you screwed yourself up? There’s got to be a lesson in there somewhere.