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Photo courtesy of K. Farwell

Oh, my God, we’re all old! I am not proud, but this was my spontaneous gut level reaction when I looked up at my television screen this morning to see Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones on CBS This Morning as the y were being discussed in regards to their dispute over boycotting Israel. The men on the screen were old with white and/or graying hair. Of course, Mick was strutting around on stage as usual, but he was obviously not he Mick I remember. My automatic appeal to God was an acknowledgment of His allowing me to arrive at this point of “elderhood” even though I sometimes approach it kicking and screaming.

Once in a while reality just hits you in the face when you least expect it. I have been moping around the house for three days now with a miserable cold that won’t go away…..coughing up stuff that I know, as a nurse, means I need to make myself go to the doctor. But, you see, I am stubborn, and I want to believe that I can fight off any infection and that I don’t need a doctor’s help. Just like I want to believe I am not aging all that much…..until I realize I can now count the several white hairs highlighting my brown hair—-or really look at my “smile wrinkles.” I’ve written before about accepting my own aging process, but not about how I deal, or don’t deal, with being sick.

When I am honest I have to admit I basically seem to take an “all or none” approach to illness—–I usually deny being ill and needing medical help until I can no longer deny it or I over react and worry about every little itch and twitch. Somehow, it seems to me, I need to find some middle ground here. When would a reasonable person seek medical attention? When would that same person decide just to “keep calm and carry on” while waiting for “this too shall pass” to finally happen?

After stopping and taking as deep a breath as I can thanks to the gunk in my lungs, I find myself wondering, “Okay, self, what spiritual lessons are you supposed to be learning from this?” Patience comes to mind. Accepting God’s care and comfort come to mind. I have been gifted with all three,  but there are times when I want more—-I want to be instantly cured, completely healed, right now, on my time line rather than God’s. Guess what?! Life just doesn’t happen that way; never has and never will. Nothing is ever on my time line….and it is always on God’s, only God is not hampered by the concept of time as we mere mortals are.

I am still answering my own question about “lessons”—-and I suddenly realize I am supposed to learn discernment. In this case, for me, that means attaining the ability to determine when it is appropriate to seek medical assistance and when it is not. Given someone with my age, my asthma, and my history of lung problems, it would probably be prudent to seek medical assistance. So, when I quit writing this in a few minutes I will phone my doctor’s office as soon as it opens up.  For those of you who are wondering what on earth today’s photo has to do with today’s topic, please note that the plant depicted in my photo badly needs watered, and this photo is meant to depict noticing when discernment and decisions need to be made.

But there is a bigger spiritual lesson to be learned here—-one that is bigger than wanting to do things my way or knowing when to seek medical attention. For me, that lesson is one of being still, quieting my mind, quieting my intellect, and letting myself quietly and reverently listen for God. After all, that is how and where I should always seek direction and help with discernment.  Period.

So, wherever you are today, whatever you are doing…..remember, you don’t have to make decisions or do things all by yourself. Allow God to direct you; accept and consent to His love. God bless and keep you.

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