Not so heavenly @ Heavenly.
Talk about kicking off the New Year with a ‘bang.’ Not only am I writing on “P.In-It” within 2 weeks of my last post (an unprecedented personal record), but rather a “bigger bang” in my life (sorry ladies I’m not talking about the K-Pop band).
This past week a number of FiCB students attended the annual Tahoe Snowboarding Trip. 28 students, 7 cars (5 not suited for icy conditions), 4 days & 3 nights near Heavenly Resort in Nevada. This year I remembered checking the snow report before I left. 42″ snow base, 97 trails open. Exponentially better than its previous year, 12″ dirt/rock base with roughly 10 trails open. Determined and excited, I was going to go ‘big’ this season. Indeed I did…
Long story short, I’m currently in a sling due to a reckless and stupid accident(s). Honestly, I wish it was a good story. That I somehow hurt it by attempting something glamorous like 360 rodeo-flips. However, I’m embarrassed to share it was a pathetic injury that I not only hurt once, not twice, but three times within two days. Smart people would have stopped after their tired legs gave out on a jump on their final run. Normal people would have stopped after landing on that same shoulder from a 5 foot jump. But me, the prideful-idiot-moron, finally got the message after the third time when I slipped off the 1 foot box and braced my fall with my right arm. I knew immediately something was wrong but didn’t know what. Broken? Dislocated? I grew concerned as I snapped off my board, ignored the worried questions from the FiCB students, and took the ‘walk of shame’ up the icy and snowy hill back to the resort. First time ever I ended the day early from an injury. First time ever I chalked up a loss in my 10+ years of snowboarding. Inexcusable…
After a long weekend the pain didn’t magically disappear as I hoped (through sleep and pain killers). It wasn’t until after Sunday service when I decided to get professional help from Kaiser (kind of a joke). Fortunately X-Rays were negative, but diagnosed as a AC joint separation w/ a type 3 tear. In layperson’s terms its a separated shoulder with a permanent lump on my right side.
Yup…when I heard those words “permanent lump” I had a mild internal freak-out. I questioned, “How will this affect my recovery?” “How will I explain my disfigurement to my mother?” “Will I have to hide out in the bell-tower and be called Quasimodo?”
Fine. Aside from being dramatic, truth be told, I now have a subtle boney-lump that is only noticeable when one eyes for it. On the plus side the nurse practitioner did say I should make a full recovery in a couple of months with some personal training and treatment, but the downside is my future athletic career in Baseball and Gymnastics are over (thankfully I still have Ping-Pong).
In all seriousness, the Lord has brought me to this point for a purpose. First to stop being such a prideful man who needs to prove his worth by trying keep up with Ryan Kang. And secondly (and more profoundly) to slow-down, walk and persevere during these temporary (and sometimes ‘permanent’) trials. Even as I stumble and struggle through my daily routines (putting on a shirt, brushing my teeth and ‘other’ acts) I am reminded of what Jesus did endure.
Hebrews 2:9-10 “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.”
Even Jesus’ permanent scars remain as a reminder to his people.
Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”
And the fantastic summary and fulfillment of Jesus suffering, scars and sacrifice in 1 Peter 2:20-24.
1 Peter 2:20-24 “For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
I am aware how ridiculous it is to compare my suffering and battle scars to what Jesus endured. The purpose and cause are quantitatively and qualitatively different. However, through Christ I am reminded to be humble, to be thankful and to be encouraged in all circumstances. To ultimately know my struggles may be temporal, but through Christ my life is eternal.