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Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you Matthew 7:7

“I want my old life back”.

This is not an uncommon response when I am talking with a patient about their goals. And I get it. When you feel like something is stolen from you, it is only natural to have a burning desire to get back what is rightfully yours.

I don’t think I am being dramatic when I say 100% of the people, I work with, have had something “stolen”. A physical injury of any kind will result in some loss of mobility. A loss of mobility will result in “loss” of life (in some area).  And of course, the natural response is to get that “life” back.  As an observer, the younger you are, the more apparent this tendency might be.

Life goals are a critical component of rehab and of life. Goals give us direction. Goals can give us the motivation to persevere through challenges along the way. Long story short, goals are necessary for growth.

But Houston we have a little problem.

Goals can also leave us disappointed.

Unrealized goals can leave us feeling like a failure; question our faith; question our creator.

And the greatest tragedy of all, cause us to quit.

Awe yes, the unrealized goal. The thing we want so badly that seems like it’s forever out of reach.  My mind is reminded of an old parable.

Parable of the man on the rooftop

There is an old parable that recounts a story of a town that was met with a great flood.

The people of the town either fled to higher ground or to the roof of their house.

As the story goes, a man was stuck on his roof praying for God to save him. He was losing hope that he would survive. At that moment, a women in a kayak appeared and offered to help.

The man responded, “don’t worry about me, I prayed to God and he is going to save me.”

The waters continued to rise and the man continued to pray for God to save him.

A few moments later, a fishing vessel appeared and offered to save the man but again the man refused.

The waters continued to rise and now the man is crying out to God, praying that He save him.

A few moments later a cruise ship appears and offers the man a spot on the ship. And again the man refuses. He continues praying believing God will save him.

The flood waters continue to rise and the man unfortunately drowns.

When he meets God he asks, “God, I prayed faithfully, why didn’t you save me?”

God responds, “I sent three vessels. Each vessel larger than the previous vessel in the case that you might have missed the first, however you refused to be helped by them.”

Yes, goals are a tricky thing. Add to that words like faith, divinity, prayer, “healing”…….etc.  Now we have a cake full of necessary ingredients that us mere mortals can’t possibly understand.

In the 80’s a young man named David Muir was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and eventually lost the ability to breath on his own and required a ventilator.  This required a tracheostomy (a hole in the throat that delivers oxygen to the lunges).  A tracheostomy means that air does not pass the vocal cords so you are unable to make sound. So, family and the medical team either get really good at reading lips or use other ways to communicate.

David Muir was NOT ok with this. So, using his engineering background, he developed a valve that allows air to pass over the vocal cords enabling people with a tracheostomy to talk. Game. Changer.

Now, the Passy-Muir valve is standard practice for many patients on a ventilator.

Whether you are someone that believes in a higher power or not, here is what I know for sure.

God is working all things out for the good.

And the moments and seasons you and I choose to believe this, we will see it.

Maybe your goal is to eventually return to work. But maybe for this season, you are meant to enjoy the time with your family.

Maybe your goal is eventually to walk, but for this season (on the road to returning to walking) you are meant to allow your spouse to have the joy of helping you.

Maybe you can’t put on your shirt, and for this season you are gifted to design a new type of shirt for people with disabilities.

Maybe you have some gift that has not yet been revealed.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you” Matthew 7:7

What areas of your life might there be something good going on (in your life) but you are blinded by some other goal?