Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1
About a year ago, one of our neighbors told us his philosophy on aging and his belief that whatever you can keep doing…. You can keep doing. If this sounds complicated or like word play say it out loud a few times. He was referencing activity. If you mow your lawn every week, you can probably keep mowing it year after year (even with a break for winter) because you are training and conditioning your body. If you took 2-3 years off from mowing and outsourced it to a child or grandchild, or neighbor kid, or even a mowing service it might be hard for you to get back to doing that chore. Our neighbor makes sure that when the weather is nice he rides his bike once every week, so that he can keep riding his bike. Before he retired he walked to and from work 3 or more days a week.
My grandmother would have turned 100 this year. I have been thinking about this idea, of doing what you can do. My grandmother lived with us most of my life. She had a stroke when I was 2 and returned home, with a walker. Our house had a LOT of stairs, and her bedroom was on the second floor, and the laundry was in the basement, and we had a huge clawfoot tub but no shower. This seems like a physical therapy return to home nightmare. But my grandmother survived the Great Depression, and World War II serving as a WAVE, and the turbulence of the 1960s, and the uncertain economic structure of the 1980s, and the early instances of domestic terrorism and she was certainly going to come home, and do everything that she did before her stroke. She was able to keep doing, what she was able to keep doing.
In 2020, we have struggled mightily against a virus that we cannot see. Through a political campaign that has divided friends and families and neighbors. Through changes to virtually every normal experience in our lives. As we approach the holidays, it is hard to endure the loneliness, to remain separated, to let go of our anger about differences in polity, to plan for a celebration with only those who we regularly interact with, and to keep our numbers small and exclusive. To wear a mask indoors when visiting others and to hold our hugs and kisses for the future. It is hard to not feel angry for these losses and limitations. But if we want to continue to celebrate with those we love in the future, we must push past this challenge and throw off everything that hinders us. We must be creative. We must protect those we love by assuring that we are distant from them. We might have to explain that we know this will result in hurt feelings, but saved lives. We have to keep doing what we can keep doing.
Prayer: God who knows all about the race course ahead, please be with us during this time of sadness and uncertainty. Help us to manage our feelings of loss and anger. Help us to remember that our sacrifices today, will be of benefit for all humanity in the future. Shower us with your love and compassion and give us strength to endure. Amen.