I am sometimes criticized for writing of spiritual concepts that (in some readers’ views), have nothing to do with security.
You can’t protect better than you live. Spiritual values are relative to protection. Some of the hardest concepts for me to write of however, are those which I have difficulty applying myself. Those things I see in someone else’s story that are not so easily applied to myself.
Like with 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (that stuff about being joyful and thankful in all circumstances).
Mom was born in 1923 in Missouri and loved life and laughter. Dad’s death in 2005 hit hard, but she continued to find things to laugh about.
At 93-years-old, Mom walked a mile each day and parked far away from the main church doors on Sunday. The pastor would greet her at the door and say, “Mary, please park closer to the doors.” To which Mom would laugh and remind him those spots were for the old people.
At 94, she broke her hip. The surgery and recovery were hard. But she did recover (some) and was happy (some). Laughter was a part of every call I made home. She often could not complete a story because she would be laughing too hard.
At 95, I asked her when the last day was that she had not laughed out loud. She said, “Oh Carl, I don’t think that has ever happened.”
But by April 2nd, 2019, Mom’s health had deteriorated to where she needed constant care. When my brother took her to the doctor that day, he knew she would not be coming home. She didn’t know that. Seven months later Mom passed at 96.
In those seven months, laughter was increasingly rare, stopping altogether towards the end. Her joy was gone. I wanted to remind her, in a heartfelt way, of what she had taught me about 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. But I knew she would no longer be moved by it.
Think About it
My oldest brother reminded me of John 21:18, “…when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
Some will be able to navigate that season with joy.
Joy is a decision that has little nothing to do with our surroundings.