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Returning to my first love - pt. 11: exists no superman

"He has shown, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8 NKJV


Over the next few years preparing for the change I still felt pretty smart and capable because of still performing my tasks although slower. Also during that time I took up a healthier lifestyle and drastically restored/strengthened my body as well as mental resiliency from a natural diet (God right - man wrong. simple recipe) and yang Style Tai Chi, which is now a forever, necessary, and wonderful part of my life. It felt like I was managing or even beating the stress for awhile. So as things went along to 'plan', I fell into the trap of thinking the successes were "all me!"


<voice from above> Say what?


In November 2018 I got my very first real lesson in humility. One that will never be forgotten.


If you've had major lower back or sciatic issues, you'll understand what I'm about to describe. I've had them since my mid twenties partially inherited but mostly due to the transition to computer/desk work with it's bad posture, and of course high stress. I had aches and pains for years before the first complete outage occurred. In a nutshell it was like this for 9 days....


Move then scream.

Move then scream.

Move then scream... repeat


Unless someone has actually experienced this kind of pain it can appear like sufferer has a low pain threshold. Kind of like how depression is sometimes viewed. Ask any woman whose given birth about those intense stabbing blade hit-by-sledgehammer moments in their pelvis area and I bet they tell you your pain threshold is irrelevant. You're gonna scream. 9 straight days of that was intolerable (not like the constant level of baby delivery obviously, but it hurt like a motherfucker nonetheless). I had several other similar bouts averaging between 3-10 days after that. Since I had been already a year into Tai Chi I was proudly already able to avert a long outage, so again I start thinking, "hell yeah! I got this all figured out."


Had I known was was coming...


So, in November 2018 while cleaning the basement I felt a small ache during a twisting motion and immediately stretched it out then continued the rest of the day without incident. Well something happened that night, because next morning when waking up it was the good old 'move/scream' routine, this time with the sciatic nerve on fire from my ass to my toes. Every muscle on my backside and left leg was covered with knots which I spent most of the days tying to massage out until my skin was completely blistered. And literally taking 5 minutes to get out of bed to use the bathroom... "Great, here's another week of misery." Thankfully being a programmer, remote access was something I had already been doing for years so at least I was able to put the laptop in bed and work while healing as best as possible. Next week comes around, and I'm expecting the get back to motion and it remains unchanged... "Well shit, this is going to be a 2 weeker - WTF I thought my health improvement would certainly shorten that."


Side note: when this condition is active you DO NOT SLEEP unless you get some really good drugs which they don't give out any longer. I had zero pain meds the entire time. And if you adjust your position for pain relief you got about 15-20 seconds to enjoy it until it comes right back at the new spot. If not stabbing, it never stops aching. Ever. Any meds were over-the-counter pain relievers and crappy muscle relaxers. A 2 hour contiguous nap was the longest I got for the entire duration.



Then the 3rd week came. - same thing

<beginning to question God if he's forgotten to check the timer on this one - frustration increasing>


The 4th week - same thing

<getting pretty pissed at God by this point - none of this makes sense - my body is literally 3X stronger than it used to be inside and out... this should be long healed by now!!>


The 5th week <by this time the lack of sleep is becoming worse than the pain> - same thing


Went to a 'pain management' center (aka - deal with it sucker - because the junkies took your meds center) for one of those cortisone shots and it worked for a whopping 5-6 hours! Whoooohooo! Almost made up for the pain of the trip traveling to their office! But hey, it was a cha-ching for them. Funny though, they had the same 'low-pain tolerance' look until they stuck the epidural in and looked at each other strangely wondering why I didn't even flinch or feel anything. I said "because that was NOTHING compared to what I feel every time I stand up, or sit down, or lay down, or drive...get it?" By this time I was considerably more grouchy then my usual. Having trouble with almost everything from crap sleep, frustration, confusion, and a growing outlook of futility and just stopped giving a fuck what anyone else thought about it before I began wishing the pain on them!


It was at this juncture that my eyes started opening. I looked back to all those times in scripture where Israel failed - the golden calf, complaining in the wilderness, worshipping false gods, etc... and thinking "well if I was there.... I would have done blah blah bla something better".


Turns out that I am far weaker and failed far worse than I could have ever imagined. The Old Testament character Job lost absolutely everything and still he did not curse, but blessed the name of God. I only get injured and yell and curse at Him all day long. Jesus endured multiple lashes with whips having bone chips embedded in the cords, not to mention the crucifixion and the emotional pain during his ministry seeing his own people hate him and disciples forsaking him, and yet endures faithful until the end. I only get injured and yell and curse at Him all day long. So many of the apostles recorded later went through similar horrible tribulations. I only get injured and yell and curse at Him all day long. How dare I ever compare myself to even the least of these ever again?


No flesh and blood inherits the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 15:50 paraphrased).


"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9 NKJV)


"For what happens to the sons of men also happens to animals; one thing befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Surely, they all have one breath; man has no advantage over animals, for all is vanity. All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust." - (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20)


 

There exists no superman. I am a worm. We learn when looking up to God, and cease when looking down to others.


And the change begins.

 

The 6th week - same thing

<even with the spiritual breakthrough there remains the disciplining of the flesh, which continued as reminder for the week. necessarily so. - I still failed often but it became easier to accept now seeing the purpose. Fighting with God turning into talking and asking forgiveness>


The 7th week - same thing

<So far I've spent in bed my grandson's birthday, thanksgiving, granddaughter's birthday, Christmas, and now new years.... that sucked, but it finally looks like I'm going to be mobile soon. My fighting with God is done. I've accepted my sweet defeat gladly and from this point on I'm turning it all over to Him - and the pact is made. (or, renewed on my end - He was always there)


"He has shown, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8 NKJV


I've always believed in justice, mercy, and humility but that last one is a hell of a lot harder to actually emulate. I fail daily, but will keep trying. That's the point. It is most necessary and without it you can never truly discover anything larger than yourself.


With the widely-varied and extensive skills I've learned over the years... stop. See, that last sentence showed the entire problem. It should read "With all the gifts God has given me and having blessed the efforts I made to develop them..." even with all of those, God is still the one in control. And although widely published yet rarely read and less understood, has a purpose with us within the operating system of flesh and blood that we call life, if we choose to take it. It's not automatic in any way, shape or form. Anyone who says differently is selling something.


"I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me (the wisdom of God)." Proverbs 8:17 and "For whoever finds me finds life, And obtains favor from the Lord;" Proverbs 8:35


The questions was after all this, am I doing and living what I claim to believe? The battle-king David is one of my very favorite characters in scripture, and a strongly bound kindred spirit in my heart. Like him, knowing the nature of flesh and it's pride, stubbornness, and wickedness,


"The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to the fruit of his doings." - Jerimiah 17:9-10

I also asked the same thing as he did.


"Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties: And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting." - Psalm 139:23-23 NKJV


I asked. He saw and is leading the way. He kept His end of the bargain, and I will keep mine.


I'll conclude this series in the next and final blog entry.


Peace




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