I love driving the golf cart, one hand on the wheel, once foot hanging out the side, the breeze blowing, and I feel like I’m the king of all I see. I hung my foot out of the golf cart Friday the 7th and passed too close to a fence pillar. It pressed my foot down, spraining it. I was home on my lunch break. Well I had to get back to work, so I elevated it and iced it and then tried to stand on it. There was a knife-like shooting pain. Prajna had to drive me to urgent care. The whole way, I just didn’t want to believe that I had injured myself. I had a busy weekend and an even busier next one. I couldn’t take off from work, I had just come back to work that Tuesday after a week off.
I was ordered to wear an orthopedic boot and stay off of my foot until a follow up on Tuesday. I went ahead and checked with the doctor, it would be okay though, if I went to work where I do some walking and lifting? He shook his head. There are times when even denial can’t save me.
I didn’t want to accept that I would be unable to go to work for maybe a week. I kept wishing I hadn’t been such an imbecile putting my foot out of the golf cart. Finally, all I could do was believe that God never wastes a hurt. Something good would come of this and I just wanted to actively look for it.
I stayed in bed for three days with my foot elevated. I couldn’t sit at my laptop to write or blog. I used my iPod touch and kept up with Facebook and Twitter. I listened to a lot of music and I finished a very good book that the author signed for me at the Storyline conference. Love Does by Bob Goff convicted me.
What was I holding on to as my identity? What did I value so very much? It was kind of easy to see, because I had lost it that week. It’s what I have valued in myself more than almost anything. It’s this: Being irreplaceable.
I have made great efforts to make myself impossible to replace. Maybe it’s easy to understand why I thought that was a good idea. Last decade I lost two jobs. I must have thought that I needed to become inimitable and that would make me bulletproof. Well, it did an awful disservice to the folks who relied on me when I went away to San Diego and they didn’t know how to do things.
Then a week later I was put on bedrest where I had to come to grips with the fact that other people can do what I do. And they did. Two of my kids, Benjamin and Sarah went to my work and took care of things. When the big weekend event came, they handled it. And the reason for that was because they had worked with me before and knew how to do my job.
So I learned a couple of things. First, have an exit strategy. Train replacements, apprentices, substitutes, whatever it takes. Have faith in those I work for that they won’t dismiss me just because other people can do my job.
Most of all, I learned that my value will never come from being irreplaceable at anything. I need to exchange that for humble submission to God. I need to not value such a prideful attitude, lest I end up humbled like King Nebuchadnezzar again, put out of commission for a time to rethink who’s really in charge.