Sunday, November 16, 2008
This Summer brought personal loss; the Fall brought a schedule that was untenable by times, as our son Benjamin got married, bought an older home that has needed much work, and Karen and I not only bought a home in Shelburne, but had no time to finish the rebuild on the cottage. Our Shelburne home needs critical updates (built circa 1830), repairs and maybe even the addition of a downstairs bedroom suite, (for retirement purposes) and we are sometimes overwhelmed by it all. So, as you can see, like many of you, there are days and sometimes weeks, months and even seasons of rush factor that can be brought on by the personal investment in family, community and special interests as well as trials in life. We make very little noise about it until the factor of stress become a reality and we face the limitations of self, pitted against either what we want to do, or the ever stressful expectations placed upon us from external forces.
How do I handle it? Some days I just collapse and say, “Enough is enough!” Other days I am told to just “suck it up”; (mostly by the younger generation who, for whatever reason, seem to think that stress is really good for you)….Ha! That is great for when you are young, strong, and healthy as a bull moose and can sleep like a log any night for at least 8-10 hours. My time clock is often broken, my body aging and arthritic, my heart likes to keep rhythm to some strange foreign beat from time to time and my eyes, ears and balance don’t work like they used to. Hmmm… old age creeps in and we neither desire to acknowledge its coming, or greet it with much pleasure, much less with an eagerness toward a sedentary lifestyle leading to a Senior’s Home somewhere! Argh! But, I am not finished yet, I still have some great days, I am blessed with a wonderful family and a set of experiences in life that have built, not denigrated, my desire to live on into the golden age of retirement and beyond. I am mostly filled with a joy for life and in it, desire to live happily while remembering that to do so will need a constant re-evaluation of methods and priorities, from time to time.
I most importantly have my faith and those who walk with me through it. They are not always the cheering section for sure. Sometimes they challenge me to look at who I am, what I am doing, and ask hard questions about direction, method of attack and motivations. But I covet their presence and the love that is shown in the process.
I am not alone. I have my Lord, His Spirit and His people with me… granting me grace and rebuilding my Spirit when I am down or weakened. Heh, there are the naysayers too, but they less impact less than they think in the big picture, and I go on with the lord’s help. You see, my view is to the future. I love the past, don’t get me wrong, but the key is the future and the decisions I make along the way, will affect my ability to get where I am intended to go, where I want to be, or where I am expected to end up. It’s like playing any sport and not knowing which goal, net or end we are playing towards… there is nothing worse than scoring one for the wrong side. We have to keep our eye on the game, our surroundings and environment, lest we lose sight of the true goal of life… eternal presence with our God.
How is your life going these days? Are you tossed about, tired beyond exhaustion, wondering how you will survive the fray? Well, take some time to breath; ... in and out, in and out, in and out… long slow breaths. Look around at what you have. Is it worth the work it takes? Does it add to life and not take life away? Remember in the process to look deeper than the surface, at what really exists and not at what has become a subtle replacement for the true and meaningful pieces of your life. We get that way (superficial) and don’t even know we have arrived. We don’t often see it coming; that’s the subtly of how it happens, and to get the true meaning of life back, we have to look beyond now and deep into the future. So the real question may be; “What do you really want out of life and what are you willing to do to get it?” I, like you, struggle when faced with that two part question, but nevertheless I need to hear it asked and I need to wrestle with the answer.
God is always here for us. That is the important part of living near the edge. We are not on a tightrope by any stretch of the word, I don’t think. We are on a path and God is here saying, as we blindly trip along; “This way… here is what I want for you… just follow my voice and I will lead you home.” Ah, the future. It is so far away and yet it is the next moment, hour, day and year. It is all about one moment at a time with Him!
I pray for your days and weeks ahead. I will continue to write; after all, I may just help somebody along the way… and that is also what His Place is about.
(Another of my “Living Near the Edge” devotions for those who like me struggle in life.)