by Troy Vander Molen, CEO and Physical Therapist for Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy
Esteemed financial guru Dave Ramsey uses the vehicle of financial advice to help many people change their lives. As economies crumble and governments reel, nations and their citizens struggle, and in many ways this is because they have lost hope. Ramsey’s vehicle is financial advice, but his primary product is HOPE.
You may be wondering what this has to do with physical therapy. Over the past six months, our organizational culture has evolved to focus on health, happiness, and hope. While each of these are unique and important, in many ways the greatest of these is hope.
If you’ve ever listened to Dave Ramsey’s call-in show, you can hear the heart of the caller change as he realizes that he has control over this financial cloud that has been hovering over him. He simply needs a plan to execute, and that’s what Dave provides. The ultimate product he delivers, though, is hope.
Without hope, change is nearly impossible to realize.
Years ago (1992, to be exact, and shortly after the end of the Cold War), I had an awesome experience in Ukraine. I went there with about 250 other college students and leaders to take part in a sports ministry. While there, we connected with local Ukranians by playing sports – American football, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and, of course, the best sport, baseball.
The baseball fields were just a converted soccer field or an open park. The baselines were typically poured sand, and the infield hops weren’t exactly true. As a right-handed player with the ability to hit the other way, I enjoyed my time there as a batter. The rectangular shape of the soccer complex meant that there was a short right field porch.
The locals were impressed by our display of power and grace on the diamond. We weren’t awesome, mind you, but in their minds we were. Baseball was a game they loved but had little experience playing. In many ways, our abilities relative to theirs made us seem like professionals. Of course, by playing baseball, we were able to develop deeper relationships. We earned their trust by having fun with them. We taught them about a game that they knew just a little about. It was an easy way to earn their trust, but that wasn’t our end game. Our goal was to share with them HOPE in the form of the gospel and the life that can be experienced through a vibrant relationship with Christ.
In the evenings, we typically held public events that featured music and theatrics. Though many had a rudimentary understanding of English, the stories of Christ put to music and mime told a story that transcended language. It was eye-opening to see the reserved, almost depressed, appearances of the Ukranians turn to expressions of hope and joy. You could see their hearts change as you watched their faces. It was life-changing for me to be an agent of change, a deliverer of HOPE to the Ukranian people.
As people engaged in one of the truest forms of health care, we at Kinetic Edge use a different vehicle to change peoples’ lives. We have access to bodies like yours for a finite period of time, but during the time we have to work with you, we also have the opportunity to speak to your heart, soul, and spirit. To do this, we first speak words of HOPE, because without hope, change is nearly impossible to realize.
Much like the Ukranians I spent time with over two decades ago, the people we serve often arrive with a reserved, almost depressed, facade. The pain and impairments they’ve had to endure have taken a toll. They lose sight of the potential for improvement and have often succumbed to the notion that they can’t change their future. They’ve lost hope. They need hope. And when they receive it, their faces change, their body language and posture improves, and, like Dave Ramsey’s callers, we hear a change in the way they speak. Hope is life changing!
Can we help restore hope in your life?
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)