The kidney stone was a really, strange diversion.  In dramatic fashion, I broke away from the responsibility and urgent demands of that day.  I went off-road and tumbled down an unmarked route. 

I experienced this weird waiting thing, where I knew the stone would pass and the suffering would fade.  But wow!  In the middle of the fierce pain, I grew understanding for what some must endure for months or years at a time.

I know that lots of people suffer because I belong to a dying race.  I want to wear my pain well if it ever visits me again.  In that potential could I become an ambassador of endurance?  I hope I don’t have to suffer too much.

I wasn't thinking those thoughts at the time of the pain attack.  I was ticked off with the agony.  I was being controlled by it, and I didn't like the submission to it that I felt.  I didn't know what was happening until the medical people told me, so I wasn't sure if I should be afraid, get angry or make peace with God.

I did throw in a deathbed confessional, just in case.

In those moments, I really like the idea of drugs that could make me comfortable.  My pre-occupation seemed to mostly be with comfort.  I just wanted relief.  When it came, I was sleepy and happy.

In the uneven ground of that season of detours, I wrote some thoughts about what I was feeling:

·        The kidney stone is a picture of the turmoil I'm feeling these days with my life and occupation.  I mostly want to get comfortable.  I want relief from the heart pains and the dying vision.   I want relief now.  I want to be sleepy and happy…
·        Even so Lord, come.  Sick, sinful, saint needs You.  Troubled with himself and too nice to admit that he feels trapped and alone again.  Stupid, self-centered, conflicted, wussy boy! 
·        Still, God is good and merciful.  I can't shake that.

Low places filling in.  High places getting flattened.  God’s jackhammer, dynamite and backfill being strategically placed.