Lessons From Rehab- Volume Four

Wait for it….wait for it…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been in a hurry. I eat fast, I drive fast, I talk fast…. I’m not sure if I’m running away or running toward something. My favorite motto in the car is, “I’m not sure where we’re going, but we’re making great time”. I’m confident that it is a diagnosable disorder and perhaps there is medication for it. It does come in handy when things need to get done around the house, I can be super productive. It’s being productive that makes me feel alive, valuable and worthy. I’m in a hurry to prove myself. This can be counter productive in the healing process. Sometimes, you have to let the healing occur, you can’t “will” it to happen.
I am now six weeks post op from rotator cuff surgery. I am finally out of the ugly black suffocating shoulder sling that has plagued my existence for the last month and a half. The time has gone by quickly, yet it seems like this process is taking forever. I know I have a long ways to go in recovery and there is a “big picture” I must think about. Since my surgery I have had several people tell me that there is a 50/50 chance of re-tearing the rotator cuff in the first year. My physical therapist confirmed it, and admitted the failure rate is even higher in many cases. He explained that is why my doctor is being so cautious in my treatment, wanting the repair to attach to the bone sufficiently. So I guess I shouldn’t play water polo for a while? Oops.
I keep hearing words like “take it easy”, “take your time”, “don’t rush it” and my favorite of all, “be patient”. What is patience anyway? It seems so passive, cautious, and wimpy. However, patience as we know it, is a fruit of the spirit. I must grasp for it, moment by moment, day by day, every day. It seems to always be a little outside my grasp, I want to try and achieve it and that is not possible. I am forced to regularly step back, evaluate life, search my heart and…..wait. Deep down I know it’s good for me, it just makes me very uncomfortable. I have to do something that is unnatural to me….surrender.

As I searched the scriptures I discovered another perspective about patience that I need to embrace.
Patience vs Pride
Ecclesiastes 7:8 “The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride”. I would not have placed pride as the antithesis to patience? Yet, here it is. Pride is having to have life my way. Pride is being self absorbed and consumed with what I want. Pride seems to be an issue that keeps coming up in my life. This rehabilitation is turning out to be more for my soul than my shoulder.
It seems that nothing in scripture happens very quickly. Jacob waited and worked 14 years for the father of his love Rachel before he married her (Genesis 29). Fourteen years, can you imagine that? I have a hard time waiting 14 seconds for someone to answer the phone. Joseph spent at least 2 years and possibly much more in prison before he became overseer in Egypt (Genesis 39-41) Two years….that’s a long time to be faithful, steadfast and consistent. How about the Exodus out of Egypt? Forty years wandering…..waiting….hoping (Exodus-Deuteronomy). By many estimations the apostle Paul spent over five years imprisoned. He wrote four epistles from behind bars…. and I get frustrated in line at Starbucks. It’s up to me to find perspective and seek Him in the process.
Learning to quiet myself in a hectic world has never been convenient for me. I liken myself to the dog (Dug) in the movie “Up”. Do you remember the one who was distracted all the time by “squirrel”. It requires an intentional act of discipline for me to stop. Just stop. Do nothing. Just listen…….
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” Psalm 37:7

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