03 March 2010

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You

There is a particular pain that comes with growing old that nobody warned me about. I remember as a child doing a one and a half somersault out of the city park swing. I planted my face and shoulder in the tan bark and had road rash and bruises on the left side of my body. Three days later when my grandmother saw me and listened to me tell her of my clandestine attempt at making the swing go 360 degrees around the bar, she pointed to my left arm which was bandaged and in a sling and said..."You'll feel that again when you're 50." She was right, I do. But she never warned me about the feeling I am experiencing now.

I knew I was going to get old. I knew I would start complaining about the parts of my body that didn't function as well as they used to and marvel at the new characteristics that would become mine. Babies and old people have different social rules. Ever notice that? They get to chew with their mouths open and pass gass whenever they have the need and they don't seem to mind it. Sure, sometimes it surprises them but they don't turn themselves green trying to hold back. though the rest of us wish they would. Anyway, I knew eventually the day would come that I would give up the Italian heels and wear comfortable shoes. I expected crows feet and to gross out my grandkids by eating weird food. I didn't think it would be sushi. It was headcheese, blood sausage and pickled pigs feet that grossed me out when I was a kid. But nobody warned me that the realization of becoming old and infirm could happen so quickly.

One day you're sitting at a stop sign, minding your own business and you suddenly feel your head is snapping backward as you're being launched forward by the car that's rear ended you. In that instant the countdown to old age fast forwarded a decade or more. You begin to notice that the last sore throat and fever you had took you twice as long to recover from. Your top shelf in your kitchen is unreachable without the step stool. The pans in the back of the cupboard are impossible to reach.

And so the dance of keeping active and independent but not doing anything to exacerbate your injuries or upset your liver begins. The music started playing before you realized and you don't know when the band will play the final set. You know you're eventually going to be too tired to dance so you dance to every song you can, much to the embarrassment of the young folks in your life. You drive them crazy by shedding yourself of all the things that are familiar to them. They want to remember you with all the stuff you had when they were kids and you want them to either take it off your hands or let you get rid of it without guilt.

Nobody warned me how soon the time would come that I would regret the massive accumulation of moments I had not spent in prayer or the things I should have done in service to my church. I knew I would have regrets, I just didn't know how soon those regrets would make themselves known. A woman's biological clock is nothing compared to watching eternity baring down on you.

Lord, please don't let me waste the time remaining. Don't let me spend my energy on fruitless endeavors. Let me be a blessing to others and let me bring glory to You. And you, if you're reading this.....don't say I didn't warn you. It happens way sooner than you can imagine.

1Thessalonians 5:11-24
11 Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,
13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.
14 And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men.
15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.
16 Rejoice always;
17 pray without ceasing;
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit;
20 do not despise prophetic utterances.
21 But examine everything {carefully} hold fast to that which is good;
22 abstain from every form of evil.
23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
(NAS)

2 comments:

Carla said...

I can only assume the sting in my eyes and the lump that began forming in my throat as I read this, confirms this to be so painfully true.

I think it's possible this is the most important thing I've read in a really long time.

Thank you for this.

Lockheed said...

This yet still young punk thanks you for the reminder of what awaits. All praise to God our Savior for the mercy of entering his rest.