My mother is in residential assisted living due to dementia and a weakened body. I have a church shut-in friend who recently moved to a like facility for the same reason. I have noticed with both my mother and my friend one like feature: they mention someone’s need and then state their strong desire to go and help that person even though they are unable to care for themselves. They will tell what they could do, or should be doing, for the person. It is a way of reflecting on days gone by, a way of speaking sadness over their loss of independence and service. With both, there is denial that they are no longer able to cope on their own, or able to be of help to others. It is heartbreaking, but at the same time, a cause for personal reflection.
I know that a day may come when independence will escape me, too. I have quality of life now, but at what point will I outlive it? Even at best, the years are short before me. It is a strange thing to realize that most of my life has gone by.
I have many regrets; that is the result of human nature. Since I cannot go back and correct past errors, I must concentrate on what I can do with today, how I can seek and recognize what God has designed for this present time – and do it. It is no longer about “someday I will do such and such” but about “right now.” Either I use well the time I have left or I forfeit it. I pray it will be the first.
Father, Your word says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not for evil, that you may have a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Thank You, Father, for Your love that gives each one of us a life design, a purpose to live out in Your name. Create in me a totally submissive heart to live in the framework of that design. Amen.