Tony Cartledge wears the Old Testament-inspired T-shirt given to him by his Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith colleagues following his hip-replacement surgery in late September.

Tony Cartledge wears the Old Testament-inspired T-shirt given to him by his Baptists Today/Nurturing Faith colleagues following his hip-replacement surgery in late September.

Recovering from any sort of surgery is a process. I’ve now had four of them, all involving moving parts. There’s something artificial now in both shoulders and both hips.

I’m hoping the knees still have some good tread left on them

Replacement of my right hip in September didn’t come too soon. The surgeon said the weight-bearing portion of my femur — which should be round — was worn down flat. No wonder I couldn’t bend it.

There’s little chance I will live long enough to flatten the cobalt chrome replacement, which is working just fine. The only pain I have left is from the incision, and that’s diminishing. I can walk again without looking like I’m constantly stepping in holes.

Even so, the comeback trail isn’t immediate. There’s physical therapy to do, and ice to apply, and resting with the feet up to keep swelling down. It’s a process, but there’s daily progress, and confidence that I’ll soon be back up to full speed — which isn’t very fast, but it’s steady.

It occurred to me that spiritual growth works in much the same way. If we want to see progress, we need the daily discipline of doing what’s good for the soul as well as the body. That includes the intentional pursuit of both spiritual exercise and rest — and maybe a bowl of chicken soup, made for someone else. BT

By Tony W. Cartledge
Selections from recent blogs at baptiststoday.org