Tuesday, January 10, 2012


So a funny thing happened right before my birthday. I have a particular recurrent form of arthritis that usually hits my already weak ankles. Recurrent means it doesn't hit too often. Recurrent means I never know when it's going to hit. The first time was about 3 years ago. I think I might have had one or two minor bouts since then, which I didn't bother checking because they were relatively short.

But on the evening December 30, I felt the familiar discomfort and experienced the minor swelling. I limped through my birthday breakfast and festivities on the 31st. I continued to limp through the work week...each step getting more and more painful and all the more slower. Then on Thursday, it was starting to feel better. Or so I thought. Long story short (HA...like that's gonna happen!), it flaired up more intensely. Even the touch of blanket on my foot brought waves of pain. I couldn't walk on it. Ice and ibuprofen took a little edge off, but just enough for me to get to the restroom and back. I spent most of the weekend of the 7th and 8th on the couch, unable to spring to my feet when the Broncos claimed their first round playoff victory. I decided it was time to visit a doctor.

Please understand that a doctor visit for me is a gamble. I am one of the many uninsured Americans you read about in the paper. I have made doctor visits, payed my money, and five minutes later told the equivilent of "take two aspirin and call me in the morning." So the last thing I wanted was to dip into our already strangled budget to hear the professional tell me to elevate my foot, apply ice, & take ibuprofen. But my friends, family, and my own common sense won out over manly pride and I visited the doctor.

Good news: I didn't sprain it, break it, tear ligiments, etc. I guess I can't say I hurt it in any "cool" sort of way. Hence the bad news: I'm just getting old.

The doctor prescribed something which made me question my sanity as to why I did not want to go the doctor in the first place. Within 24 hours, I was mobile. That is, the pain decreased significantly and the mobility increased markedly. I went from couch bound to doing a fairly decent impression of Fred Sanford (look it up on YouTube). At this rate, I'll be doing the 100-yard dash by Friday. And to think I could have felt better sooner.

Okay, I wouldn't be a very good minister if I didn't take advantage of an opportunity to pull an application or two from my experience. So here I go:

1. Don't be afraid to take advise from others. I know there are many exceptions to this, but many times, your friends and family are trying to help. At times, they will see things that you might miss. God may very well have placed them in your path to give you a hint or nudge in the right direction.

2. Are you letting your pride or sense of human sufficiency keep you from what the Lord has in store for you? As the little kids' song so excellently puts it: "little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but HE IS STRONG!"