We are all a work in progress. We will not be finished here until our life on earth ends. We come to earth through a woman. After our birth, we grow in every way, physically, mentally, emotionally etc. This process is without effort on our part. We walk through life as if we were on a moving walkway. Some people seem to run and some people decide to sit life out; others rebel against the process and still others go with the flow, but no one can stop the process.
I have been thinking this morning about my sons and how they perceive who I am. If I wrote a letter to them, I would tell them that how they see me is not who I really am. I am the sum total of all of my experiences to date. Everything that has happened to me has made me who I am today. I am not the Mom that raised them. That person was left behind long ago. I am more fully Joy today than I have ever been.
I was a legalistic parent. It was my way or else. I raised them by what I perceived were Biblical standards. I did not know that God is not legalistic, He has laws and obeying them brings blessing. Disobeying them bring a curse. We can choose to obey and be blessed and we can choose to disobey and reap the consequences. God is not angry with us, He loves us intensely, passionately. Everything He does is for our good. He is a good Father.
I reached a point where I cared about my parents, and though both of them lived with me, I wished I had sat down with them and asked more questions about their lives so I would know who they really were. But by the time I cared, they were gone and it was too late. I have read stories of people in trouble crying out for their Mom, needing her comfort. I don’t believe it ever leaves your soul.
A friend of mine, in her 80’s, shared a memory of being in the kitchen with her mother as a little girl. She remembered how bright the kitchen was and the smell of bread baking. She was happy; she had no fear or anxiety. Yesterday she told me that her doctor says she should not drive on the freeway and her kids are talking about moving her to assisted living. Another friend is having major health issues and has given power of attorney to a family member. Each of these women is struggling to maintain their independence while realizing that eventually they will have to have help.
You have to be very brave to go through old age, because you eventually lose the right to be you anymore as volition is transferred to your children or a caregiver.
Americans have an independent mentality. It is the foundation of our country, one of the major documents of America being The Declaration of Independence.
Parents look forward to their children being “independent”, moving out and beginning life on their own. As we walk through life, we gather people and things along the way. We get a job, marry and have children, buy a house, a car etc. When the kids move out and we are left with the house and the things we adjust to the new reality. Old age comes and a spouse dies and another adjustment is made. Life is a series of adjustments and adaptations.
There was an elderly gentleman who was hospitalized, he never said very much to the staff. When he died and they were gathering his things to give to the family they found a poem that he had written in which he spoke about how they cared for him day after day, but they never really saw him.
This brought to mind what I came to know as reality, the spirit of a person does not grow old, only the body ages and dies. The body goes into the grave and returns to dust. The spirit, which is eternal, goes to Heaven or Hell; depending on who or what you served during your sojourn on the Earth.
We look at the body of a person and think that is who they are. Not true! The spirit within is young. Some have said perhaps around 30 years of age.
How others see you is only one perspective. There is another perspective and that is how you see yourself. If we look at ourselves based upon what someone thinks of us, we will always be striving to please them. It is a bottomless pit that leads to misery. “You can please some of the people some of the time but, you cannot please all of the people all of the time.” People who strive to please others are miserable and they are miserable to be around.
Of course, if you see yourself as superior to others you will be a controlling, miserable wretch to be around and sooner or later, you will be abandoned. “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Lastly, there is the real perspective and that is how God sees you, which is the only one that carries weight for all eternity. This is the only true view. After all, the Word of God says that He looks at the heart while men look at the outward things. It is written: “Out of the heart are the issues of life.” It is God that we are to please, living by His standards brings many blessings.
I pray that you will be blessed today. God’s Word says that we are “accepted in the Beloved.” Ephesian 1:6 Let us press our flesh to agree with the Word, not what we think or feel and not what another person thinks of us, good or bad. To be able to walk in that is freedom indeed.