I've Landed!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Live Without Fear

                                  I will sustain you....

Even to your old age and gray hairs
I am He, I am He who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
                                         -Isaiah 46:4

I am doing this blog about aging because I am so tired of excellent books (on managing life stages) that devote 5 pages or so at the end of the book to the subject of the “final” chapter of our lives! I want a whole book on what it is like on the twilight landscape where I have landed instead of dying young.

"Old age" lasts a long time for many people!  Five little pages on it is NOT ENOUGH.

The “final stage” in said books is often lit up with posters on retirement, and cruises and reflections.

I do not find these posters helpful.

I want the facts, Ma'm, the real facts.

What the heck is going on here?

And I don't want 3 or 5 little pages to leave me worrying about why there isn't more volume!
“This is it? This is THE END?”

If I were writing a play of said circumstances, I would have a mean nurse character walk up to the aging patient in his hospital bed at the “final stage” and say “Oh shut up! You've lived a long time. Suffer through this last little bit and be done with it! Quit bothering us with your whining!” At which point said nurse would drop dead prematurely and unexpectedly, and anonymous patient would grab hold of the siderails of his bed, pull himself up far enough to peer down at her prostrate form and mutter (in a whiny loud voice) “Life is so hard.”

My gospel, He said, is the good news.
 It is a message of peace.
 It is not a message of fear.

Living without fear.
That's what Kit said she is doing , and she is older and in worse shape than I!
“You should not fear!” Kit said.
“You are being fearful!" Kit said.
Frankly I don't value Kit's opinion on most things, so I guess I could dismiss her words on this.  But I have to admit, Kit seems to be living without fear.

 I do want to live my life without fear.  
That can happen for me only spiritually...............
because I worry better than just about any thing I do!
Need to have somebody worry on your behalf? Just fax the facts over to me and …..hey, don't even bother with the facts, just send a brief outline of possible future events, and I can manufacture an Electromagnetic Field of worry that will blow you socks off.

Worry and fear go hand in hand, like lovers.

Even though I have many wonderful hours of peace, it seems worry (and fear) are ever lurking outside my castle walls.
I must turn to God over and over to sustain me like He has promised.

One of the things that is helping me these days is remembering that no matter how brief the chapter is at the end of the book addressing our life challenges, the book's “last page” is by no means the last page. The last page has not been written.

Mortality ends at death. I will give you that, with only a bit of an argument.

But life goes on after we are “done” here. Believe me. I know for certain. (read my November 2014 post on “Identity After Death” about Mary).

Let's pause to think a moment what it means to be “done” with mortality, as in  d-e-a-d .
Sure, it means our actions are over.
No more handy work.
No more hanky panky.
 We are done with our actions.
 The birth process is over and we have been delivered wherever we are going.

But are we totally gone?

Is our influence over?

Has Cicero totally died? When you read his letters does he not “live” in some way as his words alter how you think and how you understand?

Just how dead are we if our passed-on-DNA is alive and well in somebody else after we depart?

Just how dead are our ancestors while yet we live, carrying their strands of living DNA within us?

"Dead", like "Old Age", is defined in more ways than one.

If my brain waves are flat but I am on a ventilator and have a good pulse, am I dead?  I certainly are done with  handy work and  hanky panky!
If you donate your heart at death and it beats on in somebody else, are you totally dead?  Are you in any way somewhat responsible for the handy work and hanky panky going on?
When a person is "clinically dead" is that person necessarily "biologically dead"?
After every cell in my body is replicated...and replicated...and replicated and I am more or less built on a pattern of the original, have I already died (several times) in some way?
Is death really about the spirit leaving the body, rather than about the body dying?
Is life just renewal, renewal, renewal?
Is replication some form of resurrection?  We know...errr, think... mortal replication has an end, but isn't it getting easier and easier to believe in resurrection, even without faith?  When I was in elementary school, it took pure faith to believe in a Virgin Birth!  And I believed.  Does it take any faith at all today to believe in a virgin birth?  Even a grade-schooler today can understand the process!  Easy.  Just plain easy.
Will that happen with understanding Resurrection in the future?

Trailing clouds of glory we come from afar.

And trailing clouds of our humanity we sail on.

I think those trailing clouds of humanity, left behind, are very real and very important  and extremely interesting.

Grateful for the peace of God,

Friday, December 7, 2012

Caring,but not all that much...(sigh)

This really is an aspect of aging:  decreased caring.  

Have you noticed that?  We don't always say, "Frankly, I don't give a damn, Scarlett" because we sometimes don't even care enough to verbalize our less intense feelings. 

 Don't beat yourself up if you find yourself not caring as much, or if other old folks don't seem to care as much.  It could be normal.   
Or not, if mental health or abuse has brought about that state.  In which case you or others should get some help because help is available......and I am not talking pharmaceuticals!  I'm talking therapy.

But the reasonably healthy aging person has some "decreased caring" since we are less intense as a rule.  We give up on a lot of things and even wonder why we once cared so much.  

 Decreased caring is not always a bad thing!  As a child, I found old people to be less threatening, less reactive, more emotionally supportive, more accepting, and only weakly judgmental.  

Old folks often taught us when we were young that we sometimes cared too much about things that didn't really matter....or cared WAY too much about things that really did matter.  

Remember those little insights from the slow old people who helped you be less embarrassed and less shattered by life experiences?  

Every young person needs an old person.  
Not only are we oldies-but-goodies helpful, but we are easier to dismiss than the strongly opinionated-strongly caring adults!  
That's a plus to the young, I would say.

As children, we needed the old folks to "balance" the playing field.....to MAKE IT ALL MORE NORMAL!!

Good grief!  Write long enough and you finally find normal right under your nose!
"I'm normal!  I'm normal."

Caring, in a wafty sort of way,
PS  I do thank you sincerely for dropping in today