OK, so let's see what could be the problem here. I just found out a friend and ex-coworker from about 10 years ago has Alzeimer's. She had an abusive childhood at the hands of an alcoholic father, married an abusive alcoholic husband, finally had a few years of happiness after divorcing said husband - and now, at age 66, she has the beginnings of Alzeimer's.
That seems like such a tragedy to me. This person does not have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to support her. She was brought up Catholic and the last time I spoke to her on the subject, had a vague, feel-good idea of the afterlife. She used to frequent palm readers just for fun and couldn't rule out the possibility of reincarnation. When I would speak just a little about my faith, she would stiffen up because she knew that my faith required making a choice that left everything else out. No more reincarnation, palm readings or speculation. She would have to make a choice and she didn't want to do that. She especially disliked the idea that salvation is necessary - if we need to get saved, what are we saved from? Hell? She could not accept that any God could be so unfair - and that was the end of the discussion.
My father, who turned 90 this past year, had to have an emergency pace-maker put in because his heart beat was so slow. So they put in the pace maker this past weekend, but now he can't get out of bed - he's too weak. My 81 year old mother cares 100% for him, as long as he can walk and get himself up and down. Since he can't move around, he has been moved to a rehab hospital where he can get exercise a couple of times a day. Hopefully, in a few weeks, he will be able to come home. He hates being in the rehab - this has happened before. However, the quality of his life is slipping. He is blind in one eye from macular degeneration and of course he can no longer drive. He used to love going for rides - I used to accompany him a lot of the time when I was growing up. So mostly he sits in his chair all day and sleeps on and off. The TV goes most of the time since that is the only entertainment he has.
My parents are Catholic also and, although my husband and I have witnessed to them many times, they have not pursued a relationship with the Lord. This means that, although they may be believers in Jesus Christ, they have no Bible knowledge, no sure foundation to depend on now that their lives are almost over and the quality is gone. So my father gets depressed. The few times I've tried to bring up faith and what he believes, he seems to zone out. He doesn't give much thought to it, it appears to me - but who knows what goes on in his head? I sure don't. My mom has turned totally around. She is a die-hard Catholic, but she has found the Lord, I believe. I really don't think it matters what denomination you are, the Lord Jesus Christ is non-denominational. He pursues us and when He catches up with us, if we accept His offer, we can rest in that no matter what church we attend. I think my mother does that. She was frantic when my father first became ill and infirm. But as time went by, she rose to the occasion with a cheerful attitude - and it was because she laid it all in the Lord's lap and trusted Him. My husband and I have gone to her local Catholic Church with her and we were impressed with what truth does come through. It's funny because I always thought my mother would never change her mind, but it is my father who is angry with God and refuses to buckle. Can you believe my father used to believe that God, being vindictive, was messing with his golf playing abilities?!? He said a few times that God just couldn't let him have a decent game. How silly is that? My dad must have felt guilty about something - and assumed that God was punishing him by not letting him play golf well.
Now for me. I'm overweight and not likely to lose much weight. I say that because I am just not motivated to fight for this life. I look at the end result - we're all going to croak anyway. Some of us are going to croak horribly, no matter how much we take care of ourselves. My father exercised every morning of his life. He went on Weight Watchers when it first came out - and lost his extra 30 (big deal!) pounds and ate healthy for years and years and years. He was always very physical and vital. He loved to dive into a pool - he had lovely diving form - and swim laps. Both my parents denied themselves food and made sure they exercised whether they wanted to or not - it did prolong their lives and the quality of that life - but eventually, it all fails anyway.
I know that reasoning is pretty bad, but it is how I think. Most of the time I think, "why bother?" I watch the women at my job go on massive diets, lose tons of weight - and then gain it all back. Every time.
Then there's the issue of my drinking. I like to have 2 decent sized glasses of wine a night most every night before I go to bed.
There's the issue of diabetes to think of. My dad got Type II diabetes, which was what finally broke his body down. His macular degeneration and his neuropathy can both be blamed squarely on that Type II diabetes. Even though he was healthy, he always had a sweet tooth. He would splurge maybe once a week and eat a LOT of ice cream. I guess all that high fructose corn syrup got him. Maybe if he had just eaten Bryer's it wouldn't have happened? Bryer's has plain sugar - no high fructose corn syrup.
So - I'm nowhere near as healthy as my dad was. I'm 53, way overweight (the term is obese), I like to drink - which has much sugar in it, and I don't exercise.
And my attitude is "why bother?" The world sucks, this country is going down the tube, I won't have very good health benefits if Obama gets this mess of a health bill passed - and I'm going to die anyway - sooner probably, rather than later.
OK - feel free (if there is anyone reading) to tell me where I'm wrong and why I should change my thinking/habits.
Because, my wonderful, achingly beautiful sister, that body of yours is home to the Lord Jesus. He lives in you as sure as my name is Cheryl. Why wouldn't you want to take care of that body which is the vehicle for your life??? Your feet, hands, mind, heart, head are really His, not yours. Just think of the wonderful gifts that are yours, your ability to appreciate and create beauty in picture and action? You're feeling crappy because of Dad. If mom were to hear you, I think she would have some very wise words for you. You talk about how she has cared for Dad and it has been excruciatingly hard, yet, I think she is more focused, more at peace and actually happier than ever before. I am sorry for your despondency. Yes, life does not go on with the same quality indefinitely, but you are so loved and so cherished first by God and by me and by many others. If I were to lose you and not see you again until eternity, I would be devastated. I want to grow old with my little sister right there. So, perk up little one. Life is not fair and can be uncompromising, but you have something that not everyone has - a big sister ready to beat the crap out of anyone. . .oh wait that's not appropriate. . .you have a sister who would be lost without you even though you can't say I love you a whole bunch of times in succession like she can. Love you bunches!!!
That's why I hate posting this sort of stuff on the web. I know what you say is true, but I'm still flailing a lot of the time. I had vowed when I started this blog that it would only be positive things, opinions, photos - nothing personal.....but when I don't write for ages because I have very little positive to say...that outweighs the negative - I thought I'd let it all hang out. I think I'd rather keep this blog angst free. It certainly is a lot more entertaining that way.
I have been thinking long and hard about what my response would be to this post every since it first went up. Here is my two cents. I long for heaven. I really do. There was a time when I would have bargained with God, just let me get married, let me have a baby, let me see my baby grow up, let me have grandbabies, but now, I am weary and if given the choice would die in an instant knowing I would open my eyes in heaven. But, that is not for me to determine when I will go. It is all in God's timing. And why? Because He has a purpose for me. My purpose is to live my life to glorify Him in all I say and do so that others will be drawn to Him and want to know Him more, not me. That said, and please know I am talking to myself as well because if you have read my blog posts, you know I am the worst at taking care of my own body, I think we have an obligation to live a healthy life. God does not judge us for our exteriors, but for what is in our heart, so don't think I am saying that we should strive to have a perfect body. But, we should strive to have a body that will allow us to do the work He calls us to do whether that is working with children or teaching or serving on a committee or working in the church kitchen. If we are ill and out of shape, we can't minister as effectively. And, while I know this gets ticklish becasue it could be perceived as condoning people to judge us from our exterior, it is true that other humans do pay more attention to us and our message when we are pleasant looking (I used that phrase rather tahn good looking or handsome because I don't think that is a requirement), but we do need to look like we care about ourselves to make others want to care about our message. Once they get to know us and see our heart, it can be a different story, but we have to be of interest to them. I think that is waht Paul talks about when he says he is all things to all people. Not that he is two faced and disceiving, but that he takes care to not offend others so that they will listen to the Gospel. It was more important to Him than anything else that people listen to what He had to say. So, in summary, even though we long for Heaven, I think it does matter how we treat our bodies here on earth so we can effectively minister to those who need to know Christ. That said, I want you to know that I would not judge you in the least for any way your body looks because I am just as quilty as you whether I am one pound or five hundred pounds overweight and out of breath! We all take our bodies for granted and need to be better stewards of this amazing gift God has given us. Love, Cathy
PS Please post good news or bad. Your readers care about you and it is just as important to be real as it is to be joyful!
Thank you so much for your post. You are a very loyal reader indeed, since I don't post regularly. Sometimes I get so down I think THAT is reality. Then, when I'm feeling better I forget and just - feel better. So, as for real - it's all me, the dark and the bright, happy AND sad. Thank you for caring - and you are right. This past week, I've thought about taking better care of myself and am taking steps to do so. Will I always be successful? Will I live happily ever after? Of course, you and I know that is silly and I will fail. It's not the failing that is important, it's the picking oneself up, dusting off - and continuing forward that counts. Once again, thank you - you are a wonderful person.
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