One thing I’ve learned since I semi-retired a few years ago, is that I wasted a whole lot of time worrying about the small stuff. When you’re in the process of beginning adulthood and being responsible for others, you sometimes feel you need to be a super hero. Often those self-imposed requirements for living can get in the way of actually living. I say that, because as I look back on a lifetime of looking after the needs of others, I often failed to take care of myself.
In a way, being a caretaker does that to a person. In fact most of us are caretakers in some form or another. We devote ourselves to perfection in every area of our living. The house must be in perfect order before we can open it to guests. The meals have to be on the table at a certain time with nutrition and taste in mind. The laundry must be done on a specific day. The grocery shopping requires time to pack, load, unload, unpack and put away, not to mention wear and tear on your back. Lunches must be packed. I still have nightmares about not getting lunches packed for my kids.
Special words of encouragement must be administered. Hugs and pats on the back are huge necessities. In our working life, we also strive for reaching our goals, living up to others’ expectations and often putting our own lives on hold.
As we grow old, those tasks become more and more difficult. Simple things like making a bed is a two hour chore. We physically lose muscle mass. Stretching a fitted sheet onto a mattress is not designed for anyone in their seventies. Our bodies sag and our skin looks like an old saddle bag. Even so, we are unique in every way. God made us that way, right down to the minute details of our DNA. He knew what we would be even before our conception. That’s amazing to me. He knit me together in my mother’s womb. Powerfully wonderful words. Each of us is a work of art, in spite of things we might consider imperfections.
So, what I’ve learned is that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff. Life is really too short to do that. Think of all the years of wasted time we could’ve used in fun, helpful, enjoyable, satisfying ways. Don’t wait until you’re too old to discover that fact. You are one of a kind and so am I. That’s what makes our world interesting. Knowing that God has ordained us for a perfect life after death, also helps.
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13