Monday, July 18, 2011

Stress Test, Wedding & Offertory

A few years ago, I decided to start the routine of doing a stress test on an annual basis. Most people would not even think of doing the stress test until after the age of 50. In fact some people would not do it at all until the doctor tells them to.

From a young age, I have always been active in sports. If it's just a matter of jogging 2km to 3km, 3 times a week, maybe I would not bother with the stress test. But since I'm running several marathons in a year, I reckoned that it's a good idea to ensure that my heart is up to the workload. At the very least, I thought I would have the peace of mind. Doing the stress test is no guarantee, of course, since I might still have some sort of heart problems which the machine can't detect. But at least I've done my part.

So last Saturday it was time again for another stress test at Dr Raj's clinic. But first thing Saturday morning, I went cycling with some friends. So by the time that I reached the clinic, my heart rate was abnormally high at 75-80. My normal resting pulse these days is around 50. There was a long queue at the clinic, so much so that by the time I was done with the test, I had missed my swimming lesson. The test itself wasn't very long—I spent only about 15 minutes on the treadmill, and completed level 5 of the test. Dr Raj gave me a clean bill of health.

At the office this afternoon, Harry made a shocking request. He said during his wedding next month, would Mia and I do the honour of doing the offertory. Although I did not check my pulse then, it must have been in the high 90s upon hearing that word "offertory" alone. I was, like, "Offer—what?"

Of course it is no secret that I'm not a practising Catholic. It's been so long ago since the last time I went to church to pray. I can still remember confessing to the priest how I threw away that awful pancake grandma made for me on my way to school. And I just refused to believe that all I had to do was to go back to my seat and say 30 Hail Marys, and God would forgive me.

Although I attended a funeral in an Anglican church recently, I am for the most part, quite lost when it comes to church matters. That is also why that word offertory is a foreign-sounding word to me.

Now I'm sure you've experienced the time when you found yourselves in a seminar, and the speaker was saying something which sounded profound which was, unfortunately, completely incomprehensible. Yet you did not raise any question, because all the rest in the audience appeared to know perfectly well what he's talking about? So you struggle in your misery to pretend that you understood too!

I dread the thought of doing the offertory thing—whatever that is—and then the priest would open his arms, raising them to the heavens, and then say something like, "Let us pray..."

No amount of stress test at Dr Raj can help, and I can see myself collapsing there and then because of a heart attack. I have long forgotten my Hail Mary and Our Father in Heaven, you see. I suppose I can mumble something like what Mr Bean did in church, but I can't count on the priest not paying full attention on me!

No—I think I will pass on the offertory ritual. But I'm so happy that Harry and Buddy will be married very soon.

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