Last Monday I rose and had my usual two cups of coffee and then strapped on my athletic shoes to go walk my two miles that I try to accomplish daily. I walk around our town and listen to my music on my MP3 player and generally have a happy time. I see people who are going to work and wave at them and usually do all this in about 45 minutes. On Monday, however, as I was getting toward the end of my trek, I decided to walk on Main Street on our ancient sidewalks to read a flyer from the funeral home giving the details about a citizen who had died recently and when the service for her would be held. As I stopped reading and continued walking, suddenly I hooked my right foot on a piece of uneven pavement that was sticking up and found myself in one of those almost movie-like slow motion feelings in which I was sure I was about to fall flat on my face without not quite knowing what to do to prevent it. This all happened in seconds, of course, but I can remember the mental contemplation of knowing that I was about to experience a painful fall and wondering what was I going to do to prevent it, all the while falling forward on the slope that the sidewalk makes as it joins Center Street. Luckily, or by the grace of God, I grasped a railing at the end of the walk and did not fall on my face. Instead, I felt a terrific pain in my left thigh, injuring my hamstring muscle. I sat down on the base of a streetlight and wondered if I could make it home or would have to call for help. As I began to try to cross the street, I knew the answer. Luckily, I had brought my cell phone so I called home and my sweet wife came right away to pick me up as I limped to the next corner to meet her.
The pain was not so great that I could not walk but the injury left me with a constant reminder that it is there--pain when I walk in the back of my thigh. I received my therapy from a massage therapist/physical therapist that I have discovered and got some good words of advice concerning exercises to help strengthen my hamstring from my former physical therapist at the gym where I go to exercise. I hope I will be back to full strength and walking my 2 miles again soon. I really miss getting out in the mornings and looking the town over at the crack of dawn.
Interruptions in life---we all experience them. Sometimes they are joyful and welcomed and sometimes, as was the case with me this week, they are rude and painful and a bother. When the interruption seems to be as a result of negligence on the part of another person or entity---such as a driver who runs into your car or a city that has not cared for their sidewalks in decades---then you tend to cast blame their way as you pick up the pieces and try to move on. Blame does not generally help but we all seem to take part in it. We sort out things and make a plan as to how to progress forward and then try to heal in whatever way we can.
Whether it is our bodies or our cars or our relations that are injured, those interruptions provide pauses in life that allow us to consider what is important in life and opportunities to give thanks for those things or people who mean so much to us. I am thankful that I have a spouse who came to my aid and cared for me. I am thankful that I have friends who expressed their feelings of caring when they learned of my accident. I am thankful that there are trained persons who have the knowledge and expertise to share with us to help restore us to health.
Interruptions also give us the opportunity to make changes in our lives or life settings so that life will be better both for us and others. Since my accident I have already called our city manager and told him about my experience and suggested that the city needs to repair those sidewalks. I also called the mayor's office and left a message for him to call me in regard to this problem. If need be, I will go to the city council and bring up the issue too. This incident was an inconvenience in my life but an elderly person who should fall on a piece of uneven sidewalk could break a bone or hip or be injured severely in a fall. That matter takes precedence over my pain and is something that can be pursued on behalf of others. We all have to look at our surroundings and see if perhaps we are being called to a higher purpose in life revealed to us in our daily experiences.
Interruptions in life could be God's voice speaking to us, opening our eyes to situations we never have seen before. They could be one of life's teaching tools to press us to get involved because we have had an experience that convinced us that a wrong should be made right or a change should be made in the world around us and WE are to be the ones to help bring about the change. Notice those interruptions in life. Perhaps God is Still Speaking to you and me to act in concern and service to the world around us.