This is my resentful face :(
I’m Doing My Bit – Why Doesn’t She Do Hers?
She is driving me mad. I made sure that she was no longer in real pain and found her a kind, strong (and handsome) male therapist who has the patience of a saint. And still she won’t try to get better.
It takes forever to visit her from my house in Maryland. I have to fly to Chicago, then take a three hour bus trip from O’Hare to reach her house, before climbing into her car and driving to the assisted living home.
All this for someone who isn’t trying to get better!
Resenting the Cross I’ve Been Given
For a long time I ranted at God for putting me in the position of having to take care of my mother’s finances, spend a week cleaning out her incredibly cluttered house, and trying - long-distance – to organize the redecorating and sale of her property. (Clearly she won’t live there again, and has agreed to my selling it.)
Mother is causing me incredible inconvenience. Doesn’t she care that I have a life of my own? Why won’t she put in the effort to literally get back on her feet?
Time to Reflect
The bus rides back and forth give me plenty of time to reflect, but also to read. The book on this latest trip was “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers.
Was I reading that book because of Mother? No, actually. I’m trying to overcome certain fears I have when competing on my horse. But at the end of the book, Dr. Jeffers writes that life is about feeling joy, which is not derived from pursuing our own happiness.
“And what is joy? It is something that expresses the ebullience of the spiritual part of ourselves. Joy is characterized by lightness, humor, laughter and gaiety.”
She goes on to explain how we “become bigger (when) we move away from that ‘feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making me happy’ (George Bernard Shaw). We move into adult status, where we have much to give this world.”
How to Experience Joy
God creates so many opportunities for us to give to people, but we tend to carefully sidestep them, because they get in the way of our 'true goal' i.e. the pursuit of our individual happiness.
Our true goal should, however, be helping others. As Christians we’re supposed to serve.
We can’t all be Mother Theresa and do mighty deeds. And God doesn’t ask that of us. He simply wants us to be good and faithful servants, doing His work humbly, regardless of how insignificant it appears to us or others.
Once I grasped this, I realized how selfish I am to get mad because my mother is disrupting my life. She didn’t choose to have a stroke!
Instead I should be glad of the opportunity to take care of her needs, because God wants me to. He has given me a job, He has let me know that I matter to Him and to her. My joy is in fulfilling God’s purpose for me.
Sleeping peacefully after a job well done!