Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lessons Learned During Recovery

I'm not exactly a patient person. In some situations I can be, but when it comes to going places and doing things, I want it done right now. In my track days I was a sprinter, and I still have to remind myself to not be in such a hurry when I'm driving somewhere.

Last week, things came to a screeching halt. After spending a couple of hours in surgery, and a few more in recovery, I was wheeled to a room for the night. When you're in the hospital recovering from surgery, you can not be in a hurry. The schedule doesn't revolve around you, so a good bit of the time is spent waiting. Waiting for something to drink, waiting for medicine, waiting for the nurse to change the IV bag so it stops beeping. And of course, waiting all day for the surgeon to see you and release you to go home. Add to that, 30 minutes waiting for a wheelchair to take you to the car.

After getting out of the truck at home, it was then my responsibility to get myself around, with help from Jan. So, I hopped out of the truck, and ran up to the front door. Wrong! On the old Carol Burnette Show, Tim Conway played a character. He was a little old man who moved excruciatingly slow, to great laughter. That was me, only there was no laughter. It wasn't a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. It was a matter of putting one foot slightly ahead of the other, until we eventually reached the front door.

Everything has been slow ever since. Sitting down, laying down, getting up, walking, showering, dressing have all been at a pace that would make a dawdling child proud. I've been back at work for two days, and everything I do there is in slow motion. I spend a lot of time sitting in one place, and any movement must be done slowly. Thankfully, our dog has understood, and hasn't been as playful with me as he usually is.

This week has given me a lot of time to read and reflect. It's good to do that from time to time. Our lives get filled up with so much activity. We rush from place to place, from event to event. Our relationships with other people get crowded out, or simply left in the dust as we rush down the road. It's easy for us to let our relationship with God fall victim to the hustle and bustle of our day-to-day. We give the Father a few hurried minutes in the morning, or a tired nod in the evening. We go through the day checking things off our to-do list, sometimes even including God.

We forget that we have a relationship with the Father. Any relationship suffers when either party hurries too quickly through life and leaves the other behind. Jesus called his disciples to coma apart and rest. The three years they spent together were at a pace that would drive most of us crazy. The idea was for the disciples to just be with Jesus. Through spending time with the Master, they would learn his teachings,and would learn to be like him.

Sometimes we need to "be still" and simply know that God is God. That's hard to do, unless something happens, like surgery, to slow us down. Living a life that is in tune to the rhythms of the Father, rather than the noise of the world around us goes against what we are told by that world. Sometimes it even is contrary to what we are told in the church. It is counter-cultural, but that is what we are called to be.

In a couple of weeks, when I have recovered to the point where I can get around normally, I hope I remember to take things a bit slower, being sensitive to the Spirit.

1 comment:

Kansas Bob said...

I wish that I didn't relate to this. Sorry for the pain and frustrations.. hospitals do have a way of helping you to learn how to "wait".. my responses these past few years have not been all that good.. I do find my reactions are better these days though.. my expectations are pretty low when it comes to doctors, nurses and hospital staff.

On the positive side - life would be pretty hard without our friends in the healthcare business. I give thanks for them - and for you my friend.. hope recovery comes faster than you expect.

Blessings, Bob


All of us have fathers. My father was a good man. Not perfect, but good. There never was a time when I didn't know he loved me. He was a...