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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stop and Watch the Ducks

There are days when you cannot go any further. You simply cannot fathom taking one more step. Sometimes it happens physically, sometimes emotionally, but there you are...stuck.
 
This happened to me today in the most literal sense. My daughter and her friend asked me to go for a walk and I agreed. Mind you they are much younger than I am and exercise hasn't been on the top of my activities list for awhile, but what the heck...how far can three miles be?
 
Far.
 
To add to the lack of forethought on my part, you have to understand that I have had an artificial hip for the last 11 years. Normally, this is not a hindrance, but now and then it can create a problem.
 
So today, we start out on our walk. I actually made it over two miles before the pain in my thigh literally stopped my in my tracks. Because of the hip, I experience a condition called iliotibial band syndrome. I'm told it is common in patients with artificial hips. To make a very long explanation of what happens short ~ it causes PAIN. Extreme pain. Stop you dead can't take another step pain. Almost faint where you are pain. And it isn't gradual. You are fine one minute and seeing stars on the next step. Shortly into our third mile today, this is precisely what happened to me. I could go no further. I was leaning on my daughter and her friend. After a few minutes, I hobbled ~ such an understatement ~ a little further down the path to a place where they could easily come back for me with the car. There they settled me on the grass with my water and left me to wait.
 
Ah...waiting.... Not our favorite thing to do most days.  What on earth do we do while we wait?
 
I could have sat there and pouted because I had to have an artificial hip shortly before my 40th birthday. I could have beat myself up for trying to overdo it the first time out in awhile. I could have been frustrated over my inability to finish what I started or impatient with the kids for taking so long... But there was a cool breeze blowing ~ a first subtle hint of fall in the air. I was on a beautiful grassy bank beside what amounted to a drainage canal from the lake, but looked a lot like a peaceful little pond. And I had eight mallard ducks to keep me company ~ swimming blissfully and feeding in the water.


I called  my daughter and told her to bring my camera
and some bread when she came back.
For about a half an hour, I just sat there, enjoying the peace of the moment. Relaxing. Watching. Being thankful for this opportunity to enjoy the creation around me. Having a moment with God just enjoying His ducks.
 
Sometimes, the pain of life is chronic ~ we live with it day in and day out. Other times we are blindsided by intense pain that paralyzes us. Often, when you get to a place in life where you feel like you are stuck the world tells you "Just keep going" or "Push through the pain, you'll get there". The world wants you to ignore the pain that is trying to sideline you and keep walking. If I had done that today, I could have seriously injured my leg or at least made it more difficult to recover from the recent flare up. And I would have missed a beautiful blessing from God.
 
It could be that your pain, whether physical or emotional or both, is telling you to take a break. Sit down and take a deep breath. Rest the part of you that is injured. Don't wallow in it ~ give it a rest! Look around you and enjoy all the things you miss while you are running headlong through your life focused on your pain. Even Jesus took time to get away from the crowds and just spend quiet time with the Father. He invites us to join Him. "Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." Mark 6:31
 
Some days you just need to stop and watch the ducks...or smell the roses....or whatever you have handy.
 
 
Just look what I would have missed.