It’s Not About Me

Posted: March 24, 2020 in Holy Stuff
Tags: , , , , ,

“Lazarus, come out!”—John 11:43

Seventeen years ago today, I lay dead in a ditch.

A motor vehicle accident splintered my body, and the injuries were ones of the fatal variety. A sloppily broken neck, a cracked-wide-open pelvis, and a jigsaw-puzzled sacrum were the worst. For a time along that western North Dakota interstate, I was gone. Dead. Not only surrounded by the light and an unearthly, warming peace, I was in them, an actual part them. (Awesome experience. I’ll share it with you if you ever care to hear the story.) What awaits us is beyond our most vivid imagination, yet it was not my time to stay. There is more for me to experience and witness in this existence. One day at a time.

Contained in this journey of 17 years is the fullness of human life, traversing every mountain, valley, and plain the world holds for us. There were months of rehabilitation, and physical therapy that continues. The chronic pain is sometimes debilitating, most often manageable. I make some physical strides and areas of progress, only to find more losses of abilities which must be faced with courage and determination.

This pathway led me through emotional struggles, spiritual crises, hope, despair, joy, sorrow, and the grief of wondering about all I’ve lost and what my life would be like if my body were whole. Through this time, I’ve battled alcoholism, (years of opioid pain medications turned out to be more of a curse than a cure), and through it I have discovered the real and best version of me has always been in there, longing to come forth.

With many trials and challenges I can honestly say this: My life today, 17 years after tragic injuries, knows a better existence than ever before.

Given our human inclination to turn the world in our favor, it is tempting to exclaim, “Look what I did! See what I overcame! Please take note of my courage and strength and honor!” Tempting, yes, but here’s the bold truth:

It’s not about me.

All the triumphs in my life, all of what we flippantly name ‘successes’, have as their source a Merciful and Loving God. It is not my strength or power or courage that gets me out of bed every morning. It is a trust in God, who empowers those attributes in humanity. When we fail, as we are broken, and in the moments we try to fool ourselves our way is better, God remains true, holds us, and beckons us to the Divine Way and Love set before us.

Now, our world is in a state none of us has ever known. Trudging through a host of challenges, one could also succumb to the pitfall of laughing in the face of COVID-19. Such an attitude is neither advisable nor wise. To trust we are held in Divine and Loving Arms means to have the faith to grab on to God’s power and strength and wisdom, so that we may be wise in the face of what may kill us all.

May we move forward in faith, and may we all do our part in this struggle.

It’s not about me. Or you. It’s about a Gracious God.

It’s about us.

Comments
  1. Katie D. says:

    I may need to hear the story and the peace you felt in that ditch. I need to find my faith

    Like

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