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The road to recovery

| Thursday, March 5, 2015

Last Thursday started off as an average Thursday afternoon and evening. I wanted to expand my culinary palate, so, naturally, I ventured to a wings restaurant here in Indianapolis. Wing purists can rest easy, though. I did not go to Buffalo Wild Wings.

While the wings were satisfying, it was the conversation that I most remember. It was one of those conversations where the laws of physics are seemingly bent, when time is transfigured, and a minute seems only like a moment. I could not perceive the ever-steady heartbeat of time before the flurries and movements of a new maestro, a conversation that led me through parts of myself that, to be quite honest, had gathered a few cobwebs.

It was, to speak plainly, a “heart-to-heart,” one of those conversations where life, as confusing and perplexing as it can be, just seems to make sense.

Moments like these can be fleeting, but they are intoxicating. These are the moments that give us the strength to keep going, to keep investigating, to keep dreaming. These are the moments that are the seeds for change, the moments which, when properly cared for, nurture the beginnings of ideas which can inspire and change the world.

When I eventually gazed down to look at my watch, I saw that close to three hours had passed since the beginning of our time together. I left feeling “full,” but not the kind of full you feel after eating a meal.

The feeling was more like a deep satisfaction, the feeling you get after you stretch a muscle you have somehow neglected for awhile. As you, for one reason or another, stretch this particular muscle, you catch yourself surprisingly enjoying it. Not only that, but it allows you to move just a bit more freely and openly afterward.

I left with more of a spring in my step, inspired and ready to face both the challenging and joyful moments that I knew would lie ahead of me. Most importantly, however, I was looking forward to enjoying a respite, the day off that awaited me.

That satisfaction, however, was quickly overshadowed. As I returned home, I started to shiver in my car. This struck me as odd, especially as I examined the car’s temperature gauge that was clearly telling me shivering should not have been my natural bodily reaction in that moment.

The shivering turned painful as my body began to protest any movement that did not involve a couch in the immediate vicinity. Before I made it home, my throat had joined the party too, voicing angrily its displeasure at my feeble attempts for liquid.

After deciding it would be appropriate for an early bedtime, my desire to plunge into sleep could not come fast enough. Unlike my conversation with my friend, the seconds seemed to plod by as I waited for sleep to put me out of my misery.

Unfortunately, when sleep eventually came, it could only provide me a temporary respite. I awoke the next day with many of the same symptoms as before. Little did I know, I was to be quarantined to the house for a good part of the next three days.

In the midst of all of that, I was reminded of one of those life realities: it’s never fun to be sick. You’re relegated to performing only those functions that are basically necessary for the sustenance of life: sleeping, drinking and eating. In that order and in whatever way the body can manage.

During those times, life is unwillingly halted and, most times, reduced to its utter simplicity. For me, I was focused on one thing only: recovery. I wished solely to return to the life that I was living before, a life full of dreaming, of hoping, a life that is capable of changing the world.

But it was in that sickness that I realized I was in the midst of another recovery period: Lent.

During Lent, we are given the opportunity to work toward greater spiritual health. As we make commitments to draw closer to God, we increase our connection to the one who is the source of all true health and strength.

Just in the same way that we make commitments to recovering from an illness, we must also make commitments to better our weakened lives affected by the sickness of sin. And during Lent, we are invited to simplify our lives so that we can see God better, a God who has already showed us the “Way” as a healing salve for us and our salvation.

In some sense, we will always be on some road to recovery, both in this season of Lent and beyond. But we must never forget to keep working and encouraging one another on the way.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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