Palzewism #29 “I have a goal of only doing one really stupid thing per day. Right now, it’s only a goal!”
There are often times I shake my head at my behavior and lack of judgment. Last Saturday, while at a Christian men’s retreat, I got hurt. I was helping to move a table from one side of the room towards the middle. Another man lifted one end and I grabbed on to the other. I was unaware of which direction to go until my partner indicated that we should walk towards me, meaning I should start walking backward.
As you can probably guess from my previous posts, this is a skill that is not currently available to me. It has basically taken 50+ years to get “forward progress” to actually mean just that! Of course, I know that this is not in my skill set, but every once in a while a situation presents itself that requires an ability that I cannot currently perform and I, mistakenly, think that today might be the day.
Well, the left foot moved and then the right. This sequence occurred twice more. Then my feet stopped moving. Unfortunately, my upper body did not get the memo that we had stopped and continued “backward/forward” until the tile floor made violent contact with my right shoulder.
Unaware to me, another man was setting up a table in my path. The table was on its side and then he pulled out its legs mere seconds before I ran into them. My friend apologized profusely and myself, being a guy, shrugged it off (with my LEFT shoulder) and pretended nothing was wrong.
This is the third time I have “damaged” myself since April of this year. The first time I threw out my back hauling garbage to the dump. In August, I spilled boiling hot water on my bare left foot while making Mac N Cheese. Now, this!
Now, with my conditions, I don’t heal the way most others do. My diabetes increases the healing time and things seem to take longer to sort themselves out than they used to. My Cerebral Palsy makes it hard to protect injured areas due to spasms. After the fall on Saturday, it hurt to use my right arm. With my CP, the left arm doesn’t work too well even when nothing is wrong. It shakes and doesn’t want to do what the brain wants it to. As I am typing this, my right hand is doing all the work and my left-hand does the “SHIFT” and “A” keys. On Sunday morning, a friend asked how I was doing. I replied that I had to shave left-handed and I wondered if I still had my eyebrows!
The week went on and the pain continued. It didn’t get any worse, but it really didn’t seem to get better either. I began to get irritated, thinking that I was supposed to be over this by now and should be doing better. In fact, this shouldn’t really be happening in the first place. I’m tired of all these things happening to me, these accidents. My students were making fun of me, calling me a “T-Rex” since I couldn’t extend my arm. I was ashamed that I needed help putting on my coat, let alone how much time it took to shampoo my hair with my left hand (although, to be honest, it didn’t take any longer than using my right hand!). My wife tried to remind me to ice or use the heating pad or take Ibuprofen, but I just simply decided to ignore it.
All these feelings built up over the week until Thursday Night. I was driving home from a meeting at church when a song by Chris Rice popped up. The song is called “Clumsy”. I began to sing the chorus:
I get so clumsy I get so foolish
I get so stupid And then I feel so useless
But You’re sayin’ You love me
And You’re still gonna hold me
And that You want to be near me
‘Cause You’re makin’ me holy
You’re still makin’ me holy, yeah
This is probably the most important piece of theology that you can take away from the entire Bible. God does not wait for you to change before he invites you into a relationship with him. There is nothing you have to achieve before He offers his mercy and grace. God will accept you where you are and who you are! And, He loves you too much to keep you that way.
I know that it wasn’t my fault I got injured, nor my friends. That is why we use the word “ACCIDENT”. What was happening was not part of God’s plan or even an assault from the evil one. Sometimes, to paraphrase so and so who said such and such, “Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar!”
Stuff happens and although I believe more of it happens to me than you, it hits us equally. We live in a broken world entirely of our making. We are sinners, pure and simple.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8.
Sin is a part of this world, no matter how badly we want to believe otherwise. Picture this image from the nightly news. Some bonehead has violated the law and is being pursued down the highway by twelve squad cars and a helicopter. Now, common sense tells the “not so boneheaded” individual that he can not get away and it is time to surrender, but our bonehead believes he not only CAN get away, but he will NEVER be caught! He believes this with every fiber of his being, but we know that he is wrong. He has been identified a hundred times over at this point and, even if he somehow evades capture, there are still going to be a couple of officers camped out at his house! Belief systems, no matter how strong, can not change reality.
Another condition of mine affects the healing process as well. It’s called “Depression”. In my case, all these accidents wrongly lead me to the conclusion that I am the “ACCIDENT”, that this is not just happening to me, it’s happening BECAUSE of me! I used to think that I somehow deserved the “Bad” things that happen to me, some cosmic punishment from a judgemental deity whose main job it was to smite sinners. I used to view God as a police officer with a citation pad and a daily quota. In my mind, He was just waiting for me to mess up so He could bring the hammer down.
When I get that thought, I remember what God also says in his word. He states in Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11
This Passage is important because it tells us three things about GOD:
- God is in CHARGE! He makes and carries out the PLANS. We can not change, alter or mess up what He wants to be accomplished.
- God looks out for us. His plans include good things for us, things that will increase our well being.
- God’s plan is perfect, far better than anything we could dream up, let alone achieve on our own.
In other words: God does not make mistakes…and He made you! Wrap your head around that!
Let’s Pray- Dear Father, forgive our “clumsy” attempts at trying to earn your love and forgiveness. Help us to embrace our brokenness and realize that, although accidents happen, we are not one of them. In your name. Amen.