A weird wake-up call

A strange thing happened to me last week. I’d just finished talking to a student group in Oxford together with my wife, when my short-term memory suddenly disappeared, like a forgotten dream. I had no idea where I was or why or where we were going next. After an emergency brain scan in hospital, it turned out to be a harmless, one-off event called Transient Global Amnesia. After a few days rest and lots of sleep, I feel back to normal.

But I’ve realised how fragile we are, how much we take for granted. We are indeed ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. I tend to live life assuming ‘it will never happen to me’, with almost an illusion of immortality. Hopefully I’ve learned this is not the case.

So this week I’m trying to treat life as a gift – new every day. Rather than simply concentrating on the endless to-do list, I’m trying (though still failing!) to focus more on what really matters, on what will have lasting significance. This is probably more about relationships, the lives I touch, than the relentless tasks.

Think for a moment:

  • Whose lives will you touch this week?
  • What will they be left with after spending time with you?


  1. Ummm on a personal note, Praise God for the preserving your life…. Reading this I am reminded of what one colleague who are among those who inspired me in OD. This colleague now gone to be with the Lord, said ‘ Jonathan, we have to value families and value time. ….’. Its a wake up call to me for everyday I take many things for guaranteed!!

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