There are times in life when we are reminded that, no matter how much we try to kid ourselves, we are not in control of our own destiny.
I experienced just such a situation recently in my own life.
An unexpected medical situation left me suddenly having to re-learn how to do things I’ve been doing for years. This has been both a humbling and enlightening experience.
With my right side partially paralyzed, and almost no feeling in my right hand, I had to find ways to type something I do all day long in my job.
I have been touch typing for decades, and in the blink of an eye, that was no longer an option. I could barely feel the keyboard, much less the individual keys. I had to watch everything I typed, and even then, it seemed like I spent half of my time backtracking and fixing errors. It was a slow and painful process.
This was just one example among many.
Two things quickly became clear.
First, there are countless things we do every day without thinking about it. We essentially do these things automatically until we can’t. This experience has given me a new understanding of what it is like for a person who is learning a skill for the first time.
The second thing that became clear is that no man or woman is an island.
I consider myself an independent person, but that illusion went out the window in a hurry.
Whether we like it or not, we depend on others a lot.
I realized the only way to get through this was to put myself in God’s hands, and that is what I did. We may not understand why things happen, but God does. This is one of the reasons we have faith.
As I type this column (using only my left hand), I can’t even rely on my right leg and arm to support me, but I can rely on God to show me the way.
I can also rely on the goodness of my friends and colleagues to help me get through this frightening and difficult time. Their kindness and generosity has been humbling, and I am eternally grateful for the help they have offered so willingly.
We are not in control of our own destiny, but we don’t need to be.