This past spring I began to notice pain and weakness in my left arm. Within a couple of weeks I learned that my spine was badly damaged, possibly beyond repair. And so began a summer odyssey that swept me through weeks of severe pain, atrophied muscle, doctor’s appointments, second opinions, lost and recovered hope, and scary complications during surgery that left me grateful to walk out of the hospital alive.
More importantly, though, this summer odyssey gave me a hidden gift, a life changing-lesson:
The best things in life can only be experienced when we slow down.
This truth washed over me like a warm waterfall while laying in my hospital bed late one night after my perilous surgery. I was physically dependent on people for everything, even if I simply wanted to get out of bed. As I was forced to slow down and absorb my condition, though, I liked it. I began to see my wife differently. I started paying attention to her eyes. I saw mystery. And beauty. And love. My heart was moved.
Have you ever rushed around looking for your keys, only to find that they were right there in your hand the whole time?
It was like that.
But how had I been so often missing this treasure that had been there all along?
I was moving too fast. Busyness was robbing me of the best treasures in my life. It was like trying to enjoy a good movie played in fast forward. I could follow the plot of my life; I was just missing what was most essential. Movies are far more rich and impactful when we watch them at the right speed.
It is true: The best things in life can only be experienced when we slow down.
It has now been four weeks since surgery and I am beginning to re-engage my life. My arm is slowly coming back; the pain is gradually subsiding. I am re-entering my life and work with a new attitude and schedule. Next week I’ll share with you the two major life changes that are making a difference.