Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Timeline: Childhood Asthma, a Looking Glass, and The Girls Next Door

Here’s the assignment for tonight: Draw a timeline of your life highlighting the crisis events that culminated in who you are today (H/t Donald Miller and his Storyline Blog). It’s a bit daunting isn’t it? How do you know what’s important? The other concern: Are you going to highlight only the good stuff? The bad stuff? The other thought is that it’s different if you create it to share or if you do it in the privacy of your own living room---because some of those crisis points are exceedingly personal (mine are anyway). For tonight I will pick three. Perhaps I will add to my timeline in an additional post.

My childhood asthma was so severe that I rocked myself to sleep to escape the pain and fear. I would rock so violently that I would move my bed across the room. I was rushed to the emergency room six times. The asthma attacks were anxiety producing and painful. I believe that those times produced in me mental and physical perseverance (among other traits). Asthma goes on the timeline.

My neighbor had a magnifying glass that folded into a smooth leather pouch. The glass was enclosed in a ring of brass. It was beautiful, practical and fun for burning things. My neighbor left it out one day and I stole it. This was my first realization that I could do evil. That realization was foundational in recognizing that I was a sinner. The magnifying glass goes on the timeline.

The boy with the magnifying glass moved away and a family full of girls moved into the house next door. They were teenagers while my sister and I were in kindergarten and first grade. Thus they came over to watch us when mom was busy. Somehow they also had a hand in teaching us to swim which largely meant being thrown into the deep end of the pool. It was a horrible experience. Somehow it took. I grew to love swimming in water of any kind. I’ll add learning to swim.

I’ve worked my way all the way up to the age of six. I’m out of breath. I’ll focus in on additional events in a later post. Sink or swim I’ll continue adding to the timeline next time.

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