Thursday, July 14, 2011

Do It Now

I suppose I could be a whiner and complain that Friend Cherylyn jinxed me by complimenting me on how much I'd posted of late, but the truth is that I goofed up. And then I sulked. And then I procrastinated. And here I am now. Told y'all I had an issue with that discipline thing...

I'm especially bummed because that means that I messed up my NaBloPoMo (blog every day for a month). And it was going so well too!

But this is what I was thinking about posting back when I missed the post so I will go ahead with that.

Friend Husband recently...what would be the proper word? Nagged? No. Informed? No. Suggested...yes, that's it. He suggested that we go see this elderly man in our congregation who was bedfast. Now we had tried to see him in the past but he was too busy (he wasn't then stuck in bed). This time he was more than willing and even able to see us.

It is not uncommon for me to balk at the suggestions that Friend Husband makes. It is bad of me, I know, but I'm getting pretty calcified in my ability to shirk doing things when I don't want to. And recently, seeing the sick is not something I've wanted to spend time doing. But I didn't say a word, just made sure everyone was fed and ready to go so we could leave on time.

His name was Luster. Yes, Luster. I kid you not. Luster Orvis. Can you tell he was from the country? He was a nice man, always a smile or a joke, sat on the left hand side of the church building. And he had recently developed a problem where the artery in his leg was about to come open and start spurting blood everywhere. Yes. It was just like that. They told him he could have surgery to correct it but it was not unlikely that he would not survive the surgery. At this point, the tear clotted and he insisted he return home. He felt that he was going to get better, or at least he talked a good game. We had a lovely visit. He shared stories of his baseball teams when he was growing up and showed us a picture of himself and friends in baseball uniforms, as well as the certificate inducting him into his high school hall of fame. We had a prayer and he hugged all of us goodbye, with tears in his eyes. I had no idea he liked us so much!

That was Wednesday night, before services. Thursday morning, the clot dissolved, his artery started spurting, and they took him to the hospice center. He eventually lost consciousness and early Saturday morning, he passed to the next part of his life.

There was a part of me, when Friend Husband suggested that we go visit him that evening, that protested. I was tired. I'd had a long day. I wanted a nap. But the bigger part of me (perhaps the better part of me) said, "Do it now." And I did. I knew when we left there that there was a big chance we'd not see him alive again. I'm glad we went. When I heard of his passing, I was extra glad that I hadn't put it off.

I know it gets tedious to hear me yammering on and on about this, but I've been so depressed the past several years that it's been difficult to get up the energy to do anything. I've grown accustomed to just hunkering down and doing only what I had to do to get by and not a smidgen more. It took too much effort and it wasn't worth it. It hurt. Since I've been working on this depression thing (meds and therapy), I've been coming out from under it and discovering all sorts of things. One of the things I've discovered is that I've lost years and years of my life. YEARS. Can you imagine losing years of your life? And people in my family don't tend to live long, so I've significantly reduced the number of usable years in my adulthood. That is very frustrating to me. It makes me want to crawl back into my hole and give up. It makes everything feel useless. I am fighting against that and all the ingrained habits that I've formed over the past several years but man is it hard.

Then came "do it now". I can't say that it's been revolutionary. I'm still lazy and don't like to clean the house. But hearing the "do it now", obeying it, and having it work out so very well in that instance (and in subsequent applications) has made me think somewhat differently. I try to remember that if I "do it now" that I'll probably get something done, whereas if I think too much about it, I probably won't do anything and will again reap the consequences. It's hard, but I'm trying to do it. Now.

So, Luster's funeral was Wednesday. His daughter wanted one of the speakers to read the following poem.

Safely Home
I am in Heaven, dear ones
Oh, so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.
All the pain and grief is over, every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever, safely home in heaven at last.
Did you wonder why I so calmly trod the valley of the shade?
Oh! But Jesus’ love illumined every dark and fearful glade.
And he came himself to meet me in that way so hard to tread
And with Jesus’ arm to lean on, could I have one doubt or dread?
Then you must not grieve so sorely, for I love you dearly still.
Try to look beyond earth’s shadows, pray to trust our father’s will.
There is work still waiting for you, so you must not idly stand.
Do it now, while life remaineth you shall rest in Jesus’ land.

Did you catch the "do it now" in the last line? I did, during the funeral. I hope I didn't jump out of my seat because I was thinking at the time that the big lesson of Luster's passing for me was "do it now". And there it was in that bit of poetry as well.

I've been resisting for the past few days getting back into this saddle. I've messed up for NaBloPoMo, so why bother continuing? Maybe because I've had a good time doing it and it's been nice to get the feedback. Maybe it just feels like a good discipline. Whatever the reason, I did it. It took a while, I didn't "do it now", but I eventually did it. Sometimes I think that I'm not walking back to "normal" mental health but crawling slowly. I suppose that any sort of movement forward is a plus. At least I'm not moving back.

And I will attempt to remember not to put things off, but to do them. Now.


Amy Butler said...

There has to be something to this, because the idea of do it when I think about it instead of putting it on my mental to do list has been following me around all week! And I feel like I've wasted too many years, especially when it comes to growth and maturity. I still struggle with such childish behavior and resisting self-discipline. You are definitely not alone!

A-M said...

Years ago while in Nova Scotia, I saw the following on a headstone in an old graveyard (it struck such a chord with me that I wrote it down):

"The Wonder of the World
The Beauty and the Power
the shape of things
their colours, light, and shades
These I Saw.
Look ye also while Life lasts."

Your post reminded me of these words. Thought I'd share them with you.