Friday, July 02, 2010

Blurred, Filled With Challenges, But . . .


Rolling across I70 from Morgantown to Columbus, I took this photo near dusk. I was a little frustrated with the way it turned out, but then I considered it a good reflection on much of the day. This post is a mixed bag of frustration from daily challenges, applause for great service, and some perspective that has been flooding my mind.

This morning I woke up slightly before 6AM (which has been pretty typical as of late). My good friend Derek and I had a pretty busy day so I felt it was imperative to get started early. Looking back on our lofty goals for the day, we were trying to do too much (probably the anthem of my life), and it took its toll a bit. Looking back, the day feels like a blur, but after a few hours on the road, I feel like I'm seeing a little more clearly. (Sometimes life is like that).

I won't bore you with the details of all of the challenges, I'm sure your day was filled with challenges too. One of the biggest for me happened around 11:45. I was cutting paper with one of those big paper cutters, and I let my left thumb hang absently over the guard. I swung down, and cut half-way thru my thumb and nail. I'm so thankful that I reacted quickly enough that I didn't finish the swing of the cutter or I might be severely disadvantaged if I ever needed to hitchhike. I'm not sure anybody fully realized what happened when I said I cut my thumb. As I saw the size of the cut, I thought, NOW my day has challenges. I had deadlines to meet and a long drive ahead, and my thumb was cut. Great!

Another friend sprayed the cut with Saline, I threw some tissues on it, and hopped in the car and drove to the local urgent care center. The receptionist was understanding, and filled out my patient information sheet for me. My biggest challenge was signing paperwork because I'm left handed, and it was my left thumb I had cut. Amazingly, I was able to stay focused throughout the time. It was as though I had been given a supernatural acumen for sharing the details of my injury and the concerns aroused when I saw what I had done to myself.

When the physician came in, he very quickly assessed the fastest and most pain-free approach to sealing the cut. Because it was cut into the nail bed and not completely through it, he was able to use steri-strips instead of stitches (which would have been very painful) to hold my thumb together. WHat was most amazing is that I was out of the place in less than forty-five minutes. The physican was Dr. David Anderson, and he and the staff of Cheat Lake Urgent Care did an incredible job getting me taken care of and back out quickly. I thought I would be spending my afternoon being treated, but instead I was able to be back at it quickly thanks to their quality work.

ANd that brings me to perspective. Today at times I felt overwhelmed, stretched too thin, and up against the wall with accomplishing a litany of tasks. It was strange how the feelings of self-doubt, frustration at cutting my thumb, and a number of other small set-backs that felt significant seemed to eat at me.

And yet, as I consider my lot and my challenges, they really pale in comparison to so many in our world. They pale in comparison to the people more numerous than I can count who spent today suffering in desperate hunger. They pale in comparison to the millions of women and children who have no idea what the word freedom means because they are slaves who are bought and sold for less than the cost of a tank of gas. They pale in comparison to the multitudes who are fighting a battle against an uncontrolled growth of mutated cells in their body, and who are ingesting poison in hopes of killing those cells.

When I think about how good I have it, it makes me wonder how I could ever get so frustrated. But I think that comes about when our lives become blurry. When we allow our life to become blurry, we lose perspective, molehills become mountains, and minor inconveniences become grave injustices.

I don't know what your day was like, but I hope these words may provide some salve to soothe, heal, and refresh you in your journey.

Life is much better than we might realize in our blurred and challenging moments, and even when it seems filled with challenges, there is joy to be found.

2 comments:

Charles Michael said...

thanks, billy. so true, so needed. this life is a heartbeat. so many things can blur our vision. i really needed to hear this. thanks, buddy. psalm 56 an 57 are a soothing balm when we get off. ( sorry about your thumb though ) !!!!!!!!!!! love, mom

chanchanchepon said...

Thanks for the comment, and for the Psalms. I'm reading through Psalms right now with Jamie. Once I heard that BIlly Graham reads five per day. They are definitely a balm and "the Bomb!" So good for the soul. Love you too!