Climbing that stairs of life becomes a bit harder every year. I am about 3 months into my 37th trip around the sun. I had some slight hope that I would be able to get back into what I consider to be decent athletic form, maybe even lose a couple of pounds along the way this year, but it has been quite different than I had hoped.

I’ve been the the Emergency Room twice since my last birthday. The first was a bad rib injury at a local game of pick-up basketball. It kept me off the court for about a month. The injury actually took a week before it put me in the hospital. I was  picking up branches in our yard during some spring cleaning when screaming pain went through my chest. I spent 5 or 6 hours in the ER waiting to be seen for an x-ray and then sent home. A few weeks later I was mostly healed. There is still some lingering effects, but I am otherwise back to normal as far as the rib cage goes.

One week ago, I woke up at 3am with extreme pain in my abdomen. It lasted about an hour then subsided. I thought little about it since I then went back to sleep. That was until Saturday morning. It began with an ache in my groin which quickly spread to the most pain I have ever experienced in my life in my lower right abdomen. This time it was serious. So shortly after 7am my wife called for an ambulance to get me back to the ER.

On route I was given a shot of morphine to help with the pain. Nothing. No help at all. Another shot upon arriving at the hospital, still nothing. I am writhing in pain. A dose of another drug and the pain slowly began to wane.

Turns out I have a kidney stone. Something the size of a pepper flake is making its way out of my body and causing as much destruction as possible. People have shared with me this is the most pain they have ever experienced, this includes women who have had children.

So my 37th year has not lived up to my hopes to this point. My body is not as fast to recover, it’s not as quick and agile, it’s not as flexible (and flexibility was always a problem for me), it’s not as lean, but life is still good.

God has blessed me with a beautiful family, a great church to serve in a community where God has big plans.

I cannot ask for more, even when things may not be exactly where I’d like them to be.

Aging may not be as much fun as we like. Our bodies change in ways we aren’t proud of, they slow down, we can’t do all of the activities we once enjoyed, but there are things which cause us to pause and realize that we have it good. Sometimes the little aches and pains help us to realize the many other blessings we have.

What blesses you this day?