"Get up and walk it off." How often have I heard that phrase before? Outside the daily call of "It's time to go to the barn!", those were perhaps the most used words in my father's vocabulary. It wasn't that I was accident prone or had a propensity for hurting myself, but life on the farm...or life in general... grants ample opportunity to experience bumps, bruises, scrapes and cuts. For me, it seemed every time I got kicked by a cow, fell down, dropped something on my foot, or incurred an injury of any kind, Dad would first check to see if I was losing blood in quarts (as opposed to cups), give me a quick once over to see if my affected limb was pointed in the right direction (or thereabouts), and if finding no cause for advanced CPR, would pronounce thsoe prescriptive words of healing. Words that could only come from a man trained in the fine art of surgery with a Barlow jack knife and a pair of needlenose pliers. "You'll be alright, just get up and walk it off." So with a band-aid of tissue paper and electrical tape, or hobbling with a pronounced limb, (worst cases were handled with baler twine tourniquets) I would get up, get back on task, and always felt the better for it.
Now to you who are not schooled in the disciplines of rural diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, these words may seem the epitiome of cruel and unusual punishment by a cold, uncaring father. Quite the contrary; these are words of wisdom from a caring father who understands that what life throws at us can have a disabling effect when not faced head on or left untreated. Sometimes...working through pain...both emotional and physical...is the best treatment and the only way to heal. Just ask any physical therapist or psychologist. Dad's sole purpose was not to instill toughness, but perseverance. It wasn't just his words that motivated me to get up and go on either. Dad exampled it then and still does today.
Scripture is full of those who "got up and walked it off." Those who in spite of pain and injury, suffering and persecution, persevered and finished strong the jobs they were called to. Of course the greatest example being Jesus Christ on his way to the cross. He was ridiculed, rejected, beaten, whipped, spat upon, kicked, and knocked down, yet getting up, looking forward, and walking on to the cross. For me...and YOU.
Thank you FATHER