“Be still, and know that I am God” – Psalm 46:10
I often work with people that are afflicted with Alzheimer’s or a form of dementia; one which strips away most of what makes you, you. Your thoughts, your dreams, and your personality are all affected in some way. Activities of daily living become increasingly difficult, so everything you do relies on someone else’s watch; someone else’s ability.
Alzheimer’s is such a tragedy, but we can learn something from it. It really causes you to think of what you value most in life, when you realize what little control you have over it. The things that we hold tight to can slip away at a moments notice. We can spend hours obsessing over such minuscule things in life and forget what truly matters.
I read a book called. “Still Alice,”once. You can pick it up at your local Alzheimer’s society, or library most times. It was hard to believe that such a brilliant professor could be stripped down to an almost stoic individual, sitting in wait for others to do her bidding. She said in the book that all she wanted was to spend time with her loved ones, and enjoy the moment for what it was. It was no longer about her career which she loved, and put most of her waking moments into. It was about slowing down and really embracing what truly mattered in her life. Sometimes it’s only when we slow down for a minute, do we see the blessings of God that we otherwise miss.
I try my best to embrace moments, and enjoy the simple things, which is admittedly hard to do; given the stresses of life. Sometimes we live to work, instead of working to live. It’s important to work; however, if you are living so far above your means that you are too tired to pray or to spend time with family, or your joy and peace is being ripped from you; that is not what God intended at all; time to re-evaluate your life.
We tire ourselves out with an endless to do list on a daily basis. Try putting down the, “to do,” list for a moment, and trying to figure out the things we cannot control, breath; even pray. Take a walk on a nice sunny day and take in your surroundings. Really embrace the miracles around you. Give yourself a break. Smell the flowers, listen for the sounds around you, the rustling trees, the birds singing, catch a sunrise, or smell the morning air. If you are blessed to live near a river; give it a visit, close your eyes, and simply listen.
Be open to hearing God’s voice, in essence, “Stop Thinking.” God commands us to work but also to rest. Sometimes what we are working so hard for, God has already provided an answer for, yet we constantly seek to do things our own way. We forget what it is we are working for. We spend most of our healthy years killing ourselves, instead of enjoying them. God wants us to enjoy our lives fully; the enemy wants to soak up all our time, destroy our health, tire us out, kill our spirits.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” – John 10:10