Tuesday, March 8, 2011


This could totally be the muscle relaxers and pain killers talking at this point, so it should be an entertaining and/or enlightening exercise to revisit these words in a couple weeks.  On February 20 my wife and I were headed South on a major highway in Michigan.  We had just spent the weekend with some close friends at our family’s little get away in Michigan and were headed back home.  As we were shutting down and locking up the cottage snow began to fall at a fairly rapid rate.  We left as soon as we could because we didn’t want to get snowed in and we figured that the snow would lighten up as we moved further from the lake.  We were wrong by all accounts.  The roads conditions were precarious at best.  We really wanted to get home so we decided to move along being very cautious and driving well below the speed limit, 30 MPH below to be accurate.  After about the longest 2 hours of my life I turned to Julia and let out statement in relief, “I never want to do that again.”  We were just getting into better road conditions, the ice was gone and it was slush and much more manageable traveling conditions.  We made it, or at least we thought.  A SUV in front of us went to change lanes, merging left, and must have hit some ice or something that threw them into a complete 360 horror ride.  As they barreled to us I tap the brakes to assure they didn’t lock up and cause me to lose control of the vehicle.  I checked my mirrors to see if there were other cars coming that I would hit if I swerved into the other lane.  I looked over to my wife in the passenger seat, helpless and frightened.  There was nothing I could do to avoid what was coming.

It’s been 16 days since that accident.  We were fortunate to walk away from it.  The car was totaled and we already bought a new vehicle.  We walked away flawless, besides minor cuts to my hand and general soreness that’s to be expected after such a crash.  If I allow myself to think about it I can still vividly see it all happening in what seemed like slow motion.  I could allow myself to dive into the deeper issue of feeling like I could not protect my wife in a time when she needed me, but I push on.  I drove to this place where I write now.  My back and neck never got any better and just recently got exponentially worse.  I have been on muscle relaxers and pain killers for a week now.  I couldn’t bare the pain anymore as it was not improving so I went to a doctor and now a chiropractor and masseuse.  Days after the crash I didn’t drive.  I couldn’t, I was too on edge.  Today I drove to this place where I lay words upon paper.  I could allow myself to still be frightened by other cars.  I could dive deeper into the issue of feeling like I had no control over my own family’s safety, but I push on.  So maybe all this is the drugs taking full advantage of my exhausted body after a day of deep tissue massages and countless adjustments.

I listened to a podcast this morning and the general message was simple; you cannot appreciate the present or even have a chance at the future if you continue to live in the past.  I can apply this message simply to driving my car.  I cannot move forward if fear, pain, or regret from the past weigh me down.  I can tangibly see how allowing fear of getting into another accident would hold me back in life.  I wouldn’t drive anywhere, I’d sit in my home paralyzed by this fear.  I push through and eventually get into the car.  I prevail to move forward.  While it is easy to understand and apply this to concrete circumstances it gets more abstract and intricate to apply this to conceptual ideologies.  Jesus says he wants us to throw our burdens on him, but for some reason it feels good to hold onto them.  It gives us a sense of control.  If we can control it than we can know when we are in danger of pain and avoid it.  Recent events have painted a very clear picture to me, I live in fear and hold onto my burdens.  I’ve been hurt and caused much pain, but I allow it to remain hidden and untouched by the very same logic that got me driving again.  How does one take concrete methods and apply them to abstract thoughts?

The more we feel we have control the heavier and more burdensome life feels.  The longer I carry past hurts around with me the farther I drift from society.  Eventually you find yourself sitting alone at home asking yourself, “How did I get here?  This is not who I want to be.”  Face that fear.  Face the pain.  White flags must wave in the battle of life in order to move away from fear and pain into love and peace.  When we surrender our burdens and face whatever or whoever it is that hurt us we don’t redeem the past.  The past is not forgotten, ever, because we must look back to learn.  Ultimately allowing yourself to face whatever that thing is that haunts and weighs you down requires you being open to getting hurt again.  Love is vulnerable.

I know that everyone moves at different speeds and rhythms of life.  I do not prescribe any universal methodology for moving on from the past.  The general truth of the matter is this: being vulnerable allows us to love again.

Life has so many things I love and near the top of my list is basketball.  I love the sport, the athleticism involved, the rules, and everything else about it.  I love playing.  I cannot play for about 2-3 weeks and it is going to kill me.  The day I step back onto those hardwood floors will be bittersweet though.  I will be very cautious and after some time, who knows how long or how many games I’ll have to play, push through and not allow fear of getting hurt and experiencing neck or back pain again and play.  Soon I will play with more muscle memory than fear.  Moving forward is important in little areas of life, however, not nearly as moving forward in large areas such as relationships in your life.  All we can do is control how we interact with this life.  May you be faced with your fear and push through and move on.  May you allow yourself to be vulnerable.  May you not forget the past, but forgive it.  May you reconcile your past and walk with your head up into your future.


  1. Great blog Adam. I love you and I am proud of your recent growth. You inspire me!

  2. What a harrowing experience! Your connection to spirituality seems the saving grace....what incredible lessons you've learned, and for one so young!

    If your bodymindspirit pain continues, may I recommend that you see an acupuncturist in your area? If you can find one who practices Five Element acupuncture, all the better.

    Wishing you good health, love,
    and peace.