I have a herniated disk. It is breathtakingly painful. And you may be wondering how did I sustain such an eye-watering injury. Lifting heavy objects? No. Running a marathon? No. I actually hurt myself Tuesday morning … wait for it … eating breakfast. I was sitting, eating yogurt when pain shot through my back and down my side. Yes, my friends, I sustained an excruciating and debilitating injury by sitting, by eating, and, I suppose, by being 54 years old.
How did this happen? I promise you I am not making this up. When I was younger, I fell out of numerous trees, was once run over by a bicycle, and tackled in countless pick-up football games and each time I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and started playing again. On Tuesday morning, somewhere between a sip of coffee and a spoonful of yogurt, I hurt my back so badly that I had to go to the emergency room.
The doctors and nurses here in South Africa were outstanding. If I remembered I could even tell you what number and letter disk I injured. Thankfully, they wrote things down: my diagnosis and the physical therapy exercises they recommended. I can’t really remember what they said at the time because A) I was in so much pain, and B) I kept asking myself how I could have hurt myself eating yogurt!
I have been assured that I will be okay. The pain should subside over the next couple of weeks and in six weeks I should be able to get back to running and exercising. However, I am seriously considering never eating yogurt again.
So, what, if anything, does this have to do with partnerships in mission? Remember the Parable of the Good Samaritan? Surprise, surprise, you may wind up being the guy lying in the ditch by the side of the road. Somehow, I always pictured him as much older. But then again, I guess I picture myself as much younger.