When you read this on Monday, I will be in process of having surgery on my left labrum (shoulder), and will have the joy of having my arm sticking straight out (like a handshake) in a sling for six weeks. As a church staff, we have been joking about our youth pastor (knee surgery) and I being the weaklings who have bodies breaking down, which has been fun, and definitely brought some humor to two situations that are not the most fun for either of us. For that, I am most grateful. As a musician, I am not looking forward to six weeks (and more) of not being able to play the instruments I love to create music with. Likewise, as a father with two active boys, I don’t look forward to not being able to wrestle and be as active with them as well.
However, when I look at this recovery, I can choose to go two ways: Be angry for the limitations that hamper me, or be thankful that God will use this time to grow my walk with Him and my usefulness to His Kingdom. So I am looking at six things I can learn while I am in “the sling”:
1. Be intentional about spending time with God.
I am going to have some “down” time I’ve been told (yuk, yuk). What better way to become the man, husband, friend, and minister God wants me to be than to spend intentional time refreshing with Him as I rest and recuperate.
2. Appreciate the incredible person my wife is.
Elizabeth’s life is going to change, and I will have a great chance to be an intentional encourager, lover, friend, and supporter of her as she has to adjust as well.
3. Learn to trust the teams that have been developed.
I am blessed to have wonderful teams that will do a great job of leading and shouldering responsibilities where I am limited. It will be cool to see more leaders develop as I take a backseat.
4. Thinking outside the box creatively.
It is easy for me to get in a rut. Sit down at the piano, play guitar, pick up a banjo…can’t do that. Creativity will have to be outside of my comfort zone. This is a great growth area.
5. Work on organizational skills and structures.
Those of you who know me well are probably laughing out loud. In some things, I can’t administrate my way out of a paper box. This will be a great time for me to work on prioritizing, structuring, and catching up on needed organization.
6. Find ways to be thankful for the gifts I have been given.
Sometimes we don’t realize what we have until we don’t have it anymore, or can’t use our gifts as much. While I realize God has gifted me musically, it will interesting to see how much I have taken for granted that I shouldn’t have.