How I Cracked a Rib Washing My Hair

And 2 Reality Checks that Can Pull Our Heads Out of the Sand

Panicked, I woke up late for my men’s Bible study. Rather than show up with bedhead, I opted for a quick head rinse in the tub. I had done it a thousand times before. But this time would be the last.

How I Cracked a Rib Washing My Hair

(Photo courtesy of

I planked on the edge of the tub to wash and rinse. As I leaned to the side, all of my weight rested on my ribs. I felt a give—and then a sharp pain. In that moment, one of two things happened:

  1. I received the gift of speaking in tongues . . .
  2. Or something was very, very wrong.

“You cracked a rib,” the doctor told me a few painful days later. Several of my close friends had another prognosis:

You’re getting old, Wayne.

Really? I have lived all my life like I was still 25. And frankly, that was my problem.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

4 More Ways I Realized My Aging Head was in the Sand

As it turns out, cracking my rib was only the most recent of 5 ways my aging body was communicating with me. Here are the other 4:

  1. A Cartwheel of Agony—My daughter challenged me to do a cartwheel a few years ago. No problem. As my legs swung upward, my left wrist wrenched the smile off my face. Weeks later, the doctor told me I had torn the ligaments in my wrist, and he asked me how I did it. When I mentioned the cartwheel, he paused in silence. Then he said: “You’re 45. You don’t need to be doing any more cartwheels.” I’m aging.
  2. A Painful Rollover—Not long ago I simply rolled over in bed, and I felt a sharp POP in my back—followed by an excruciating current up my spine. I had thrown my back out just by rolling over in bed! A couple of days later at my physician’s office, he said, “Your back is fine. You need to strengthen your core.” Physical therapy followed. Again, I’m aging.
  3. A Rock in a Hard Place—I awoke suddenly one night with a smarting pain in my body. No matter how I fidgeted and adjusted, the hurt in my lower back only intensified. The pain literally nauseated me. As I described the symptoms to a doctor friend of mine the following day, he said it sounded like a kidney stone. It’s probably just a kidney infection, I thought, a kidney stone is for old people. A couple of days later, the doctor announced, “You have a kidney stone.” Suddenly, I felt really old. And I also started drinking more water.
  4. A Scale Shock—The most painful wakeup call came to my pride. In December I stepped on the scale and it spun up to the most I’ve ever weighed in my life. I’m aging. Since then I’ve started eating right and exercising. Simple? Hardly. But the tough work is paying off, as I’ve dropped 27 pounds.
I Realized My Head was in the Sand

(Photo courtesy of

2 Reality Checks that Pull Our Heads Out of the Sand

  1. A great attitude isn’t enough. Young minds and a zeal for life are part of lifelong health. YES! At the same time, our bodies are our only vehicles for serving God—and we are stewards of our bodies. We can’t reverse the clock, but we can make healthy living a priority. What good is a great attitude if unhealthy choices take us to heaven early?
  2. Face the facts. Why? Because denial only delays a painful reality (ask me how I know). The sooner we choose to face the fact that our aging bodies require more (not less) self-discipline and self-denial the more effective we will be in God’s service—and the longer we will serve Him.

Yep, it’s true. My cracked rib, snapped back, wrenched wrist, kidney stone, and scale shock have made it clear I’m not as young as I once was—and I never will be again. But so what? Living forever comes after resurrection. I just want to serve God well until I get there.

So, how old are you? Oh, I don’t mean what does your drivers license say. I mean, how old do you think you are?

Tell me what you think: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? To leave a comment, just click here.

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