I’ve come a long way since I wrote the first version of this. It’s like time travel. I see who I was “back then” versus who I am now.
Life is change … and change is the single constant. Change is neither good nor bad, but as we age, it tends to be difficult.
I broke my back when I was a kid. I was reconstructed when I was 19. For the next 35 years, I refused to pay any attention to my spine. I was not going to be disabled.
“Mind over matter,” I declared. It turns out, mind over matter only takes you so far. I had been to more than a few doctors, all of whom said I needed a new spinal fusion, the old one having disintegrated.
The solution made no sense because after the new, upgraded surgery, I’d be in more pain than I already am. My spine would be immobilized. How was that going to be an improvement?
I believe in miracles, but I don’t bank on them. If you can count on them, they aren’t miracles, right? In lieu of prayer, I took my case to a top spine specialist.
He said I did not need surgery. “Ignore my colleagues’ scare tactics,” he said. “Your back got you through this far. It’ll take you the rest of the way. Pain control, gentle exercise, and recognize your limits. Don’t do anything stupid.” Like fall off a horse? Lift heavy packages?
Faith can help get you through times of trouble, but faith in what? Yourself? Friends? Family? It need not be a deity, though I often think it would be ever so nice to believe that an all-powerful deity was watching out for me. Otherwise, faith in something helps. I need to at least believe there’s a future worth living. That’s a big part of getting through life.
Faith is a tool, not a band-aid. You don’t apply it like a salve to heal all ills. You still have to take care of yourself and your business. Faith won’t make you young, stop your joints from aching, pay your mortgage, or make you immortal. It can offer you a context in which to see yourself and your problems, make you realize things could be a lot worse and you do have something for which to feel grateful. No small thing.
I believe there is something, but I have no idea what. I don’t believe we have individual guardian angels looking out for us. It would be nice, but I don’t believe it. Yet, I will not commit to nothingness.
One way or the other, to suggest I have answers would be absurd. I’ll let others duke it out on details. I shall stay unaffiliated.
Meanwhile, whoever or whatever has helped me get this far, I’d very much appreciate it if that force would stay with me.