February 2, 2020
Seventeen months ago, I penned these words: “Some people have asked me, “What do you think God is trying to teach you by this?” My response has been that I am learning a lot by the experience, but I in no way believe that God caused this to happen. We live in a fallen, broken world, and our bodies simply break down. There are lessons to be learned…
Some of those lessons have been practical. I’ve learned not to put any plastic container between my legs to try to open it. It took a gallon of orange juice and a simple water bottle for me to get that one down. It only took one mayonnaise packet for me to learn not to open it with my teeth. Finally, I discovered not to put my body weight while opening a door outward when someone is on the other side and opening the door for you. Yes, all those scenarios are pretty funny. I wish all the things that I’ve discovered were that lighthearted.
I have been educated about my lack of patience. If I were keeping a grade book, my current score would be a C minus. I still struggle with being demanding, and I know others get frustrated when I want something right then. I continually get frustrated when I can’t do something for myself. I now know that I cannot do two things at once. If I am walking and want to know what time it is, I go to my destination, sit down, and then look at my watch. Early on, I learned not to rush to answer the phone. It took a few falls for me to learn not to do that.
I am learning how to play second fiddle, and I don’t always like it. I have been humbled to know that I cannot always be in the driver’s seat. Last night I was (mostly) content by doing things behind the scenes for an event that I was instrumental in orchestrating. Sitting in the second chair allows me to help make the first chair shine. My role as Pastor is to “equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” ~ Ephesians 4:12 NIV. I am seeing leaders flourish as they take up the more upfront positions that I used to hog.
I have gained a bit of empathy. I hate to see people suffering. Most of my career, I have done my best to avoid such scenarios. When my mother-in-law, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, was moved to a board and care home, I could not bring myself to visit her. I felt awkward about seeing someone with a disability. I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say anything. I am seeing things in a much different light now. I am okay visiting with and praying for people who are physically suffering. I will never see a person in a wheelchair or using a cane the same again. I know.
I am thankful for lessons learned.