Adrenaline highs can make you feel invincible…like you can do anything. And I was most definitely still on an adrenaline high on January 24th. In the past month, I’d launched my very first website, marketed and relaunched the 2nd edition of the Caged No More book, and joined a whirlwind team of marketers to help our movie experience a very successful opening weekend in the Seattle area.
Each one of these events represented 100s of hours of creativity and hard work. And with a family of a husband and three elementary girls, in addition to my job teaching at Christian Faith Center, I was feeling very proud of myself as I’d navigated through the last several weeks. Yes, I was EXHAUSTED, but it was a good kind of exhaustion. It felt like a job well done.
So when my friend invited me to hop on the hoverboard, I thought “Why not?!” I’d already successfully tried riding it several days prior…shoot, by now I was sure I’d be able to innately be able to do figure 8s, right? Adrenaline can trick you. It pretends it’s your friend as it convinces you of unrealistic abilities you don’t have…that you’ve never had! So I jumped on and started hovering…
Before I even knew I was falling, my head slammed into the ground. No worries! My BFF, Adrenaline, helped me to jump right up, laugh it off, and tell everyone that I was good to go. But it was not long before I realized I was not good to go; in fact, I didn’t even have the proper capacity to drive myself home. I had given myself a concussion, and that was that.
For the next several days, I was sentenced to complete inactivity. No computers. No texting. No television. No driving. No working out. No reading by any manner. Just be horizontal and try not to fall out of bed from the dizziness...which was way harder than it sounded. It felt like I was living on a cruise ship rocking in perpetually stormy waters. Even now, after 3 weeks, I'm still dealing with dizziness on an almost daily basis.
This was the WORST POSSIBLE TIME (as if any kind of injury comes alongside a gift of convenience); so many loose ends from the last several weeks were begging to be tied up. But there would be no tying…only lying and lots of staring. And lots of thinking and contemplation. After possibly the busiest season in my life, my world had officially come to a screeching halt.
While I do not believe God causes injuries like this to happen, I am convinced He uses these circumstances to His advantage. And while I lay there, unable to do anything but reflect, He joined that reflection by holding up a mirror to my heart so I could see how addicted I had become to my friend, Adrenaline. How “proud of myself” I’d become. Not of the things like the book and the movie; I was well aware that those were solely God’s achievements. But I had grown proud of my activity, of my work, of all the tasks I’d been able to check off these last several weeks. I felt more valuable somehow. I felt like I was better than I'd been before. Like, maybe God valued me more than ever because of how awesome I'd been.
God loves it when we work hard and then sit back and appreciate our accomplishments. Didn’t He Himself do this on the 7th day? But appreciating our works, and finding our value in our works are two totally different motivations. He’s a jealous and wise Father, and He only wants us to find our value in HIM, not in our own ability to accomplish and achieve in this transient earth walk.
I wish I could tell you that my concussed state helped me to have a remarkable turn-around. That from this moment on, I will never again allow myself to reach for the instant gratification that pride and adrenaline offer, and will instead always dig deeper to find my value in my relationship with Christ. I know myself too well to make that boast.
But here IS what I will take away from this experience: From this day forward, I’ll try my very, very best to seek God first…First, to show me when I’m looking to other shinier things to find my value. First, to confirm which tasks are the ones HE wants me to accomplish. First, to hear HIS applause and not man's. And finally, First, to listen to his voice when He’s clearly saying to me: DON’T GET ON THAT HOVERBOARD!