I went with Dad and Mom to one of the long-term care facilities he sings at. I sat next to a bunch of people in wheel chairs. The lady closest to me was very hard of hearing, which is kind of the bane of my existence. My voice is almost completely impossible for people with hearing difficulties to understand. This has led to me being called Elee, Elsie, Elisie, Denise, and many other variations. I despise yelling at people and when I have to yell at people for them to hear me I loathe it even more. I usually don't "yell" loud enough and so I have to repeat myself several times.
Anyhoo, the lady next to me usually glared at me when she couldn't understand me, but I did learn a little about her. It made me smile when (for most of the songs she sat quietly and listened) she would hear a song she recognized and would belt it out loudly. She especially liked I'll Fly Away. I told her I liked her voice. She yelled, "WHAT!?" in the middle of the song and Dad had to repeat it so she could actually hear. Great.
That was all a digression... I love being with older adults. They are treasures and it is one of my goals as a nurse to make sure I value them appropriately. They have no pretensions, no business... They are wheeled to various places- almost all autonomy has been removed. Suddenly as I sat listening to songs about God's grace, love, and power I felt like all of my worries meant nothing. What did these people have to be worried about? They weren't.
A lovely woman I met in my home care rotation told me she didn't know why people worried so much. "There's no reason to worry." She said... This woman had a stroke 20 years ago and has lost much of her previous function. She lives in an adult family home and has to have assistance with toileting. And suddenly all of my worries slipped away. What am I worried about? My job? School? Family relationships?
I get so distracted from God. All those things I just stated seem to fill my mind constantly. And then God allows me to see a different perspective. Older adults are coming to the end of their lives. All of their previous glory and achievements have all but faded away. Now they have to humbly accept help or rigidly refuse it. Everything is stripped away... All of our ridiculous pride in our accomplishments, all of the worries about the cares of this world. Suddenly you're being carted around to eat dry chicken and then having some stranger give you a bath. The fact that you ran the Boston marathon suddenly doesn't seem to matter that much.
God is my solace and I forget that. Distractions keep me from seeing that in reality, I'm just like those older adults... I just have more things to deceive me into thinking that I'm very important and busy. But when you come to the end of your life and all of those things are taken away, what is left? Will I still be worried about ridiculous things or will I have realized that God really was the one who provided for me... And all of my worrying meant nothing.
I'm pretty sure my 80 or so years on earth will go by very quickly and soon I'll be wearing diapers and being fed thickened soups. It seems like it's preparation for what's coming. All of my achievements are gone and suddenly I am alone. Soon I will stand before my Lord by myself with no distractions. This is glorious. May I live with this in mind. All the things of earth will soon pass.