Many people know that I’ve been hospital / home ridden for a while now, many have even asked me about what all I’ve been through; so, I’m finally taking the time to say what all I can about everything.
One of the following events did not really happen in the last couple months, see if you can guess which:
- I was attacked by a dragon.
- My femur was snapped in half.
- I got a concussion.
- I became a cyborg.
- I had an emergency brain surgery.
- I was brain washed.
- I sat still.
Now, for those of you who know me you may have immediately guessed that the thing about sitting still was a lie, but it’s true (sadly). I, actually, was not attacked by a dragon. However, I’m not sure if my lawyers want me divulging what actually happened yet, so I’m sticking with the dragon story for now. And, sense it’s my illusion I will choose to make it as grand as I like – meaning that the story is actually that I killed the dragon with my bear-hands, after it attacked me by surprise.
Now that I’ve told you all the worst of what’s happened I would like to take a second for comic relief stories before getting to the lessons I’ve been learning through all of this:
- In the hospital, I met a resident named “JD” and preceded to ask everyone for “Dr. Cox”. This is a reference to the show Scrubs, so many of the Doctors and nurses laughed on that one – if you did not laugh reading this, then I assume you have not seen the show Scrubs yet and I feel that I must inform you that you are really missing out in life.
- When I heard about my leg, I asked to get a wheel chair and be shaved bald, so that I could impersonate Professor Xavier, from the X-Men.
- I also had repeatedly (to the point of grave annoyance, I’m sure) asked one pastor who visited me about making the announcement at church for the bowling event I planned on having that Saturday.
These fun, little stories are courtesy of morphine and a concussion, so sadly I don’t remember them. But they are still fun, nonetheless.
[PS. I got the brain surgeon to say my brain surgery was necessary because my brain was just too large – so that’s a plus!]
Finally, I present the useful part of this post!
See, in all this I have had much time where self-reflection was my only real option of what to do with my time. I have learned a lot, gained much wisdom, and I have plenty of new goals in life, also. I really want to share three main lessons that I’ve learned from everything and the common factor in them – and so, I will share just that sense no is stopping me!
It’s become evident to me that I’ve been getting a couple things wrong in my life – one such thing is in how I plan every detail of my life out. What I have been getting wrong with that is that I do that. I know it’s a bit cliché, but I’ve learned that only God’s plans really matter.
If you keep up with our podcast then you’ve heard me say that:
experience is the vehicle that brings us from knowledge to revelation.
I knew only God’s plans mattered but it took this experience to show me what that really meant. God gave me a great gift to be able to plan out events and such, very well.
My old youth pastor, Dave, would tell you that I already have my retirement planned to a “t” and he’s not completely exaggerating. (I’m looking forward to the small, country, family-church that I’ll be preaching at in Kentucky when I retire in my late 70’s.)
I have no plans to stop planning, God gave me that gift for a reason, but I have every intention to stop relying on my own plans. In relying on my own plans, I became arrogant, lazy, and I lost an important aspect of my relationship with God.
Hopefully, I have made the distinction between relying on my own plans and using the plan-making gift that God gave me clear; if not, then please read the book of Esther in the Bible (it’s all about God’s plans, destiny, and our part in God’s planning process). I wrote about Esther rather poorly in a post on this site before if you want to check it out, also our team plans on writing another post on said book for y’all next month – so, STAY TUNED!
(Yes, I know how cheesy that was of me.)
Shama also has spoken about plans recently on here, check that out here!
It’s important to understand this lesson of prioritizing God’s plans over our own, cause you never know when you may get attacked by a fire-breathing dragon!
Another revelation that I got from this whole experience is the obvious one about pride. I have oft’ thought much of myself and of how smart I am / was. I showed it more to certain friends than others, but it was always there – this thought that I’m usually the smartest guy in the room….
Well, when you know you could’ve easily endured a permanent brain injury and have had emergency brain surgery, you realize how quick the gift of brilliance can be lost. However, enduring all that I have and seeing how my character, humour, and rationality hasn’t faltered has helped me gain much confidence. We often think we are good in our spiritual walks, but having it tested like I have recently and seeing how I have handled everything so far has gained me a whole new confidence in my relationship with God.
Right before my emergency brain surgery I called my brother to tell him I loved him, then I asked my surgeons who all believed in God and had a prayer meeting right there in the OR.
Touching on the human condition in his book, Reflection on the Psalms, C.S. Lewis said,
The shadows have indicated (at least to my heart) something more about the light.
Faced with my own fragile condition and everything that I have recently endured, I must say the same!
I know now, more than ever before, the kind of man that I am. So, I’ve been forced to see the difference in confidence and arrogance. IT IS QUITE LIBERATING! I no longer fear being full of myself because I’ve been forced to face reality on both sides of this – thinking more of myself than I should in some areas, yet not acting confidently enough in other areas.
The final lesson that I would like to share before connecting all these scattered dots that I’m calling a blog post is about relationships, oddly enough. I had to realize that I have been ignoring that whole “spark” thing that all the Hallmark movies talk about.
Now, I don’t think that there are only “sparks” in romantic relationships; I think we also get that with certain friendships. I have a few friends that help with this online ministry whom our friendships certainly have these peculiar unexplainable “sparks” to them.
By the way, this whole idea of the “spark” really does seem unexplainable to me, so please forgive me for not attempting that endeavour here. I hope that everyone reading just sort of knows what I am talking about here.
I dated a girl in high school with whom I had a great spark with but a terrible relationship with. After five years, we broke up and I’ve been avoiding everything that made up that relationship since then to keep from becoming the person I was in that relationship – he was irrational and oft’ miserable, but to be fair, he loved every moment he spent with that girl. I actually only regret the person I became in the relationship; I don’t regret the relationship as a whole or anything like that.
Anyway, the point I was getting to is that I became robotic, ignoring the emotional aspects or unexplainable aspects of all relationships I have been in.
(Here’s probably a good place to apologize to any friend, mentor, or family member who feels our relationship has suffered because of this…. I am so sorry. )
I like to say that, now that I have a metal plate in my head and a metal rod for part of my leg that I am now a cyborg. So, in a way God turned me into a cyborg to help show me that I have been being too robotic. The irony is not wasted on me.
And, I have to confess to all of my team who help with this site and all of you who follow the blog and welcomed me into your lives that my relationship with God also has suffered by me ignoring these sparks, and again I am quite apologetic towards you all.
I’ve got it back this last month though, and I hope you all will be noticing it in my general attitude!
So, what is this common factor that I have been promising to share and tie this all up with? IT’S FEAR.
- I have been over-planning my life because I am scared to let go of the control that I perceived to have.
- I have acted prideful and lacked true confidence, because I have been afraid that I would not pass true tests of my faith.
- I ran from my emotions because I was scared of being who I once was.
But, NO MORE!
I will be on red alert, looking for moments to run head into fear (not literally though – my head is still healing). I will be the kind of man who relies on God’s plans (as scary as that sounds typing this up, right now). I will be confident in the Lord and I will be the kind of man who does not need pride. I will embrace my emotions and seek out relationships with that unexplainable spark.
I will be thrilled to have you all join me, all who are brave enough to confront whatever fear may be holding you back! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you decide to join us all and follow this blog to keep up with how I’m doing with these challenges that God’s presented me with