What I Learned About Prayer After A Week On Crutches

The last thing I remember was seeing Gina run past me towards the ball and the rest was all a blur. I ran into a patch of mud on the soccer field and simultaneously kicked the ball. The result was me doing an unintentional backflip and crashing on the ground with my left leg. I heard a “pop” when I was in the air and when I came to, I was convinced I had torn my ACL. Thankfully, it was just at a pickup game of soccer with my local Frassati group and they were able to quickly take me off the field. After being taken to the university health center, I was given some crutches and was assured that I had not broken any bones or torn any ligaments. I had, however, torn my left quad, sprained my ankle, and bruised my ego. I had never been on crutches and I was anxious to get back to normal as fast as possible.

Almost a week later of having been on crutches, the biggest change I’ve noticed (aside from taking twice as long to do literally anything that involves moving) is how much more present I am in the day. I have no choice but to focus on the little things and on the present moment. I have to plan how to go to the bathroom, how to shower, and how to take the trash out. I’ve realized that you have to depend on the kindness of others to open a door, to hold the elevator, and to pick up the pencil you just dropped. Having crutches has made it almost impossible for me to run my day on autopilot and instead has forced me to be present in the moment any time I need to move.

Most importantly, it made me think of something that Fr. Mike Schmitz says in one of his videos. He quoted Jean Pierre de Caussade by saying we need to appreciate “the sacrament of the present moment.” Instead of being bitter about my hurt leg, I’ve realized how blessed I am that I will likely recover soon and that I can use this time as an opportunity to grow in faith and find God in the small moments throughout my day. Prayer too has a way of doing this, especially Christian Meditation which focuses the mind on minimizing distractions and living in the present moment. Despite how cheesy it may sound; I think the quote that is typically attributed to Bill Keane has really resonated with me recently: “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift from God, which is why we call it the present.”