I make mention in my book about how I hate tests. I have yet to see the test that says something about me that I can rely on.
Almost three years into caring for my aging parents I find myself immersed in tests. My patience is being tested hourly. My stamina has been exhausted and most troubling to me is that I am alone.
I have never been alone. I have been single for more time in my life than I have spent in relationships. I am not talking about that kind of alone. I’m talking about not being able to make the scene or socialize on any regular basis. I hardly get out of the house these days. The grocery store is where I get most of my interaction which is why I stay out of Walmart.
I was thinking about Job from the bible and how his faith was tested. How he passed with flying colors and was rewarded with 100 times what he lost. How he was abandoned by his friends because of illness and his refusal to curse God.
I’m afraid that I have flunked that test. Yes I have cursed God. Not because of my losses but because of the suffering that I see going on with my parents, who in my opinion could have more peace and meaning if they were no longer here.
It’s not that I want them dead. I just can’t imagine a life like theirs. Not being able to walk. Having to be assisted with every aspect of life. For me that would be a living hell. Not to them, or at least it doesn’t show if they consider their lives less than great.
This got me thinking. What is happening in my life right now? Are my friends and relatives right? Am I in the way of my parents ability to leave this earth?
The more I thought and prayed on it, the more the answer began to flow. It wasn’t an answer that I wanted. It wasn’t filled with the rewards that I had expected.
You see, I had an expectation. Don’t we always?
What I came to realize was that this action of caring for my parents eliminated many things in my life that I swore were stable. I would have told you that my friends would never abandon me. I would have stood against mobs to defend close family members that would never turn their back on me. But I was wrong.
Like Job, the things that were taken away, or should I say drifted away as a result of my commitment to this task were not stable forces in my life. I was wrong. I counted on things that didn’t really exist. It was a fantasy that I had about my greatness.
Turns out that I am not so great. Turns out that I am not Job. Turns out that I am not alone.
The removal of this illusion has made way for more important, true and stable forces that really drive me.
My relationship with God is clearer. Who I really am and what I can stand is clearer. My knowledge of love is clearer.
In these last days when I have pondered the meaning of things I realize that this life isn’t just about what I accumulate or attain. It isn’t about how many people I can get to say my name. It isn’t about the score.
What is it about? The question lingers because the lesson is never over. You never have it all. Having it all is the illusion that I have lived under for far too long.
I am accused constantly of creating the circumstances in which I am now in.
Guilty as charged. Yes I did! I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. Especially that delusional world in which I was living yesterday.