Saturday, November 1, 1969 was the day that I took the SAT tests – required at that time in order to apply to most colleges. It was a Saturday and having taken the PSAT (the preliminary practice test) earlier in the summer, I pretty much knew what to expect when I spent the better part of my Saturday working on various sections of the SAT.
I had high hopes that I would score well but in the meantime, it was back to high school, my senior year, to focus on getting the best grades I could. I was dropped off at school before 8:00 a.m. and headed to the gym for my first class. That’s right – physical ed was my first class on Monday morning, November 3, 1969 – fifty three years ago today!
The teacher was having us play line soccer and I was paired up with several others on my team to begin the competition. The other team was also filled with friends of mine and as the game heated up, a classmate and I went for the ball at the same time. To say the least, he was more agile than I was, swooping in to kick the ball as I tripped and fell over him.
It sounded like two bullets were fired, but it turned out that it was my lower right leg breaking – a compound spiral fracture. It hurt! But at the time, our instructor was convinced that I had merely sprained my ankle. He forced me to walk to the attendance office to request an early dismissal from school…
As I look back on the incident, it was all handled very poorly. I should never have been forced to walk to the other end of the school and there was no acknowledgment that I was hurt. I then proceeded to wait outside until my mother arrived to pick me up. By then, I could barely see my foot beyond my enormously swelled ankle.
I was taken to the hospital where I was x-rayed and it turned out that the fracture was discovered. It was too swollen to cast and I was sent home with a temporary wrapping until the swelling subsided – I was to return on Wednesday for a casting appointment. Tuesday evening, I was trying to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night when I passed out and fell down several stairs leading down to our first floor.
I was out cold and finally awoke to my mother wanting to call an ambulance to get me to the emergency room. There was no way that I was headed back to the hospital in the middle of the night. Finally, I was able to get back into bed. When the time for casting arrived, I was fortunate in that the doctors were sure that after my fall, I would require surgery. Thankfully, they were mistaken and I finally returned home, immobilized for six weeks with a cast to my knee.
Crutches became the norm until things settled down and I was finally allowed to exert some pressure on my right leg. Mom had my slacks modified with zippers on the inside seam of my lower right leg so that I could get pants on and then stay warm as the winter weather approached. It was not my best day…
Our verse tonight comes from the Message, a loose translation of the Bible in more modern language that the younger generations, in particular, seem to like. We are taking Scripture from the Psalms – Psalm 119:73 specifically. We are told, “With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.”
It is clear that God created each of us or a specific purpose. And I know that there have been times in my life when I have wondered why certain things happen to me. Fortunately, with appropriate hindsight, I have learned lessons and acquired wisdom as a result of my experiences – even this one.
My encouragement is that God doesn’t waste anything and we have to look for the lessons in the experiences of our lives. My prayer is that God will bless each of us with wisdom as a result of growing closer to His Son. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…