In the past I have been Musician, playing the Hammond, teaching and directing a choir, helping to produce dramas, teaching a Bible class, being confidant for people who needed help spiritually, daughter, mother, grandmother then life changed for me and everything I did was suddenly no longer there! It was like standing on the beach and letting the water wash up and over your feet taking a little more sand with it every time until you lose your footing and land on your backside, and yes I have done that before too. I began taking care of my parents and as they got more and more helpless and dependent on me I got a new title, that of Nurse!
Today I gave up my Clara Barton title for that of Hazel, the TV housemaid and traded my Chanel #5 for the aroma of Clorox! Later this evening I looked at myself in the mirror and decided I wanted to change my hair, so I got the scissors and cut it, I guess that made me a beautician?
I began to think about all the titles and things I have done through the years, and loosely compared myself to the Apostle Paul who said in I Corinthians 9: 19-23 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!
Paul became all things to all men hoping to influence them to see that “the Way” he had chosen, or maybe we should say had chosen him, was the good and right way to follow!
How can you truly help anyone unless you have walked in their shoes so that you can empathize with them, feel their pain, know the frustrations of whatever problem they are facing. It is easy to sit behind a desk and dispense advice, to tell someone exactly how to handle their problem “by the book” but when it comes time for you to follow your own advice sometimes it isn’t that easy! Have you ever heard a thin person tell someone who is vertically challenged how to lose weight? How simple it should be? Or a person that has never been addicted to cigarettes tells a smoker how they should just quit? The best example of all is a person who sits in judgment on parents who are struggling to keep a child quiet in a theatre or in a church service where no nursery is available. I have seen some of those judgmental young people have children of their own and be just as miserable at keeping their offspring quiet as the ones they so quickly criticized!
There is a scripture that exactly fits what I have been saying, it is Matthew 7: 1-5 “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
I think I might have rambled away from my original point which is that when you find yourself faced with change you just make the best of it, might be that you will be able to learn something new to put in your repertoire of things you do well and may be help someone along their way.
I guess at the end of the day, or my life, I want to be able to say something I heard my dad saying over the monitor, which was on my pillow so I could hear if he needed me, it was only three days before he went to the hospital the final time,
2 Timothy 4:7, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, and I have kept the faith: