as I mentioned in my previous post, my daughter recently broke her collarbone. it was a small break, minimal displacement and healing time. we count ourselves lucky due to the horror stories we’ve heard about broken collarbones (we learned the phrase “piano keys” as it relates to broken bones. I shudder even typing that.)
the challenge when you break a bone is that you are at that moment officially hindered by the injury. all of the things you did with a healthy arm, ankle, or insert the bone of your choice is now hindered.
to be hindered is to be held back, prevented, kept from something - it is the “thwarting of our will,” to borrow a phrase of Dallas Willard. and to be clear:
there are many things we hate. many things we oppose and refuse to submit to, but the greatest of those things we detest is to have our will “thwarted.”
to put it in terms of children, it means “to not get our way.”
my daughter had dreams, desires, and wants for independence and strength. she wanted to dress herself, bathe herself, be able to brush her teeth with her dominant arm, and her “way” was taken.
this happens even when we are able-bodied, with our skeletal structure completely in tact.
our expectations for a relationship falls apart, and our way is thwarted.
the people we work with act apart and against our desires, and our way is thwarted.
our marriage, relationship with our parents, and hopes and dreams for life and accomplishments slide sideways like cars on Illinois winter ice.
in those moments, we learn dependence.
in those moments, we have an opportunity to be grateful for two arms and healthy conversations.
in those moments, the light and life of God can crackle through us like voltage if we so choose.
in those moments, we can choose something else - self-gratification, letting disappointment win the day, and releasing ourselves to options and opinions that we would never choose otherwise.
today, may we celebrate the opportunity - the gift - of learning how not to get our way. the gift of learning to let others care for us and carry us, the gift of gratitude for health and wholeness, the gift of knowing that even though we do not get what we want - even in that we still know that there is an ever present One who cares for us.