I can only truthfully use that quote for a little less than two months. The truth is that I’m not old though any physical issues I might have are in fact from the years and not the mileage. This past week being a prime example.
I have, undiagnosed naturally, tendinitis in my right wrist. It is not a result of carpal tunnel syndrome even though I don’t necessarily have the best ergonomic setup at either my office desk or my home office desk. The tendon that is affected is the one that runs down through the base of the thumb and controls the ability to grip things. This is only the second time I’ve had a flare up of the issue in the past five years, but at its worse it totally cripples my right hand which is unfortunate since I am right-handed. I’ll spare you the details it just makes for interesting living for a few days.
I don’t suffer well. I’m not petulant and whiny, I just get very impatient because things aren’t working the way I think they should and I’m now dependent on other people to live life. Did I mention I’m a bit of a control freak? Unfortunately because I’ve let some areas of my life go, namely physical fitness, I’m dealing with aches, pains, and physical breakdown at a point earlier in my life than I probably should be. That plus the endless access to new and shinier technology that creates an environment ripe for repetitive strain injuries. Regardless this is me reaping some of what I have sown.
Starting around six years ago God started working in my life to show me who I really was. I spent a lot of time in denial that I was in fact a very selfish person and it took God, through my wife, to give me a real wake up call to who I was/am. Since then God has been teaching me, molding me, and changing me in quite a few ways to be the man he would have me be.
Sometimes the lessons come through words and deeds of others, sometimes in patient endurance, and sometimes they come in pain, but however they come they are ultimately a blessing. To some this would sound masochistic, but I can assure you it is not. I pray for wisdom, but sometimes I’m daydreaming while the teacher is teaching. I can’t complain when the teaching has to go to extremes to get my attention. This pain is minor on the scale of human suffering, let alone on the timeline of eternity.
Side note: Please do not read this as all pain and suffering = a lesson from God. This is based on my personal experience and the pain, physical or emotional, I’ve experienced in my life. While I would argue it is true that we can learn from all types of suffering and that God can use suffering for good, I would not presume to say that ALL suffering is necessarily meant to be a lesson or a punishment.