I’m spending a few days with my folks who are in need of help due to health concerns. Mom, who is almost 80, is struggling with terminal stomach cancer and dad (85), her primary caregiver, is recovering from gall bladder surgery! As we’ve helped mom in and out of bed and back and forth to the bathroom, as well as help out with all other chores, I’ve heard comments like “it’s no fun getting old” or “did you ever think you’d need help to …” along with others – all reflecting the longing for better times gone by. Mom’s strength is waning and she needs help with even some of the simplest of tasks. Dad can’t lift anything for a couple of week’s and is still sore, besides the bad back! So, us kids are taking turns helping out. I’ve thought about the things they can’t do like they used to and am forced to admit there are some for me already as well.
More importantly, though, I’ve thought about the spiritual things that also change with the years and thought about the passage in Ecclesiastes that encourages us to remember our Creator in the days of our youth – while we still can do what we should. As a pastor I’ve heard some of my seniors say that can’t get out at night or in inclement weather like they used to, or work with the kids like they once did. Voices that once rang out in loud praise are much quieter now. It’s harder to read the bible now that the eyes have dimmed a little. Fears and doubts that once were not even considered now threaten to sideline yesterday’s star players in the ministry of their local churches. That is the way of life and we all understand, but knowing this is the way it goes, should lead us to take the advice of the “preacher” in Ecclesiastes who basically said we had better do what we ought to while we can. There may come a time when we will surely want to, but won’t be able.
Ah, but the young – they think there is plenty of tiime later. Not so! Don’t put it off! Attend church and worship while you can. Study God’s Word, while you can. Sing and praise and serve and give….and on and on… while you can. The things you choose to do now instead are not worth the loss of the things you ought to be doing. And someday, it will be too late!
I’ve really been taxing my brain today and I was in danger of quitting thinking altogether, so I decided to just change subjects instead and blog. I’ve been out of town a few days to visit my folks who are not doing too well at the moment. Their health needs cause me to try to figure out how I can work my schedule to go help them some. Meanwhile, my sister, who is helping them, too, needs me to paint her new house soon. Having been gone and planning to go again soon, means I have to get all my church responsibilities done early. As I worked on skits and lessons for our children’s ministry, music and sermons for Sunday worships, and bible studies for our Wed. adult class, I texted back and forth with my sister and two brothers to convey information about dad’s upcoming surgery and coordinate trips to AR to help; I helped babysit our granddaughter who was out of school for a couple of days, and tried to catch up, if not get ahead, on other various chores. I thought about the little scene in the movie “One Fine Day” where George Clooney and Michelle Pfiefer compared their complicated lives to juggling balls in the air. I do a little gospel clowning occasionally and I can juggle a tiny bit – 2 or 3 balls – but not well. Today, I was juggling my chores and responsibilities well for a while, but as I started to sense that I was about to drop some, I decided to take a break and blog.
Jesus said that all who are weary and heavy burdened should come to Him and He would give them rest. We should take on His yoke for it is easy and the burden is light. I think that means to “yoke” up with Him and He will carry the load. The yoke is easy, so it won’t chafe or hurt us. He will handle the heavy part of the load, we just need to work along with Him. Practically, that means I should pray, read His word, worship and lay the results and all the things I really can’t do anyway on Him. If you’re struggling with too much on your plate or a hectic schedule or things you just can’t figure out how to do, I recommend you go to Him, ask His help, and then take it. I know, easier said than done – but worth the effort. In fact, I think that “better time spent with Him than time spent on the things that keep us from Him” and time with Him will make the other go better, as well.