Just Out Of Reach

Parkinson’s disease is referred to as a movement disorder. The term movement disorder to me means that the human body is unable to move normally. Due to damage of certain cells in the brain, the brain – body connection is broken. The brain continues to send signals to the body to move, but the path these signals must travel is compromised. This affects my life in a number of ways.

I am no longer able to sleep with my wife in our bed. Because of pain, I have found the only place I can get a good night sleep and not wake up in the morning in extreme pain is to sleep in a recliner. I first started to discover the various aspects of having a movement disorder from that chair.

When every movement you make is uncomfortable in some way, you find yourself making less and less movements. My recliner has become a kind of refuge. I have placed it in the middle of the room and I have tried to place all the things around me that I need to have close… IPad, phone, pills, water, remotes for my different devices, my pillows and blankets, paper towels and so on. Because there are so many things I need around me, and just so much space, I try to place everything carefully. But still, I continually find that something I need is just out of my reach. It’s frustrating. This morning I reached for a pillow that had fallen on the floor. I tried to reach over from my chair and get it, but it was just an inch too far away. No matter how much I stretched, I couldn’t reach it. I had to get up out of the chair, get it and then sit back down again. But, I had my pillow, my blanket and my iPad on my lap. So, it was necessary to lift these things off my lap, find a close place to set them so I could easily reach them when I returned. Painfully and slowly I pushed the lever to lift myself into a sitting position in my recliner. Painfully and slowly I tried to stand up, making it on my third attempt. I retrieved the pillow and reversed the painful process to return to my original position in my chair. I was now exhausted, hoping I hadn’t forgotten something.

I’m not lazy. When every movement you make meets with resistance and pain, you make the least movements possible.

It’s like I’m in prison.

Every prison inmate has a movement disorder. Most of the world is out of their reach. They are not able to go where they want to go and do what they want to do. Their movement disorder they brought on themselves by their actions. They are usually placed in prison because of something they did. I don’t believe my imprisonment is the result of something I have done. I am in prison none the less. The reason I am not able to do what I want to do and go where I want to go is not because of any crime that I have committed. I guess I’m locked up in this cell of Parkinson’s disease because of the crime that was committed by my first parents a long time ago in a garden.

Most prisoners in jail are confined away from the world that was once theirs. They are locked away out of sight. But my prison is right in the middle of my world. That means I can see all the things that are mine, but are now just out of reach…. picking up my grandson, running, walking normally, doing the work I want to do, having a sex life with my wife, riding a motorcycle, sleeping in my bed. These and innumerable other things that were just a reach away are now just out of reach. But, I’m not blaming anyone, except the creep that snuck into that garden and offered my first parents a lie.

Despite the fact that I will most likely remain in this prison, it is my intention to continue to live a life based on a decision I made when I was six years old. That decision was to accept a free gift from God.

Based on that decision, one day I will wake up and discover that not only can I reach that pillow, but I can move without pain. I will also realize that the bars of my prison are gone and I am free.

Microscopic Adversaries

I have always known that this body and this mind were fragile. As with most people, my body gets sick. Some microscopic result of the fall of man invades my system from time to time and I get sick. Thankfully, God provided an additional provision for this. I guess I would call it an after the fall gift. Before the fall, Adam and Eve did not have an immune system. They didn’t need one. They were perfect and there were no germs. After the fall, their bodies needed something to fight off these invaders of the fall, so they were provided with body defenses to battle these new enemies. It’s been war ever since. These germs and bacteria attacking and adapting. Our defenses fighting back and adapting. Throughout history, our microscopic foes have tried many times to wipe us out. So far, our immune systems and the intelligence God has given to man to invent defenses have kept us from obliteration. I’m frankly surprised we are still here. If Satan had his way, we wouldn’t be.

When I was younger, despite getting sick, I did have a feeling of invincibility. That ended for me at the age of 50. That’s the year I believe I started to feel the presence of Parkinson’s disease. Any feeling of invincibility ended. My body and my mind were telling me something was wrong. More wrong than anything I had previously felt. Not knowing what was wrong was the worst part. It played havoc with my brain, body and my mind. I not only suffered from the onslaught of my physical body and brain being attacked by this unknown assailant, but my mind was fighting depression. Only after the adversary had been identified did a strange peace and resolve descend upon me. I was not imagining the things that were happening to me and the depression is a symptom of Parkinson’s.

So, roughly fifteen years ago, for some reason unknown to me, my brain started to cut back its production of dopamine. That’s the chemical the brain produces to aid and regulate movement. As the production decreases, my body moves slower. And not only my body and muscles, but some of my internal systems also. Digestion is one example. The little flap that insures what’s supposed to go to the stomach goes to the stomach, and what’s supposed to go to the lungs goes to the lungs, is another. It gets slow and I tend to choke.

They say that by the time a person starts to notice any Parkinson’s symptoms, about 80% of their dopamine producing brain cells are dead.

My journey with Parkinson’s disease started with symptoms from an unknown cause when I was 50, diagnosed when I was 54. But the journey hasn’t been too bad so far. Yes, I have had to stop working, I now drive very rarely. I’m slow, I’m tired all the time and get exhausted easily. Each day I become less dependent on what I have always been able to do and more dependent on my wife Marcia to stand in for me in life. But that’s ok. I could spend my time mourning the loss of me and feeling guilty for having to add all these things to Marcia’s plate. The bottom line though is that I didn’t ask for this. It just turned out to be my journey. And my sweet wife is just that, my sweet wife. She chose to walk this life with me. I would do the same for her.

My immune system can’t fight this. There are a lot of smart people working on a cure for Parkinson’s. If that proves to be too elusive, they are also working on finding a way to prevent it and tools to help people like me live our lives to the fullest.

As I continue to travel down this road that God did not want me to travel down, but was created by rebellion against God, I can see the white shores of my destination. It is more beautiful than words can describe. If I look real hard, I think I can see a crowd standing on the shore, waving me on.

And I do know that as my feet touch that sand and I go to greet all those I love, I will be running!

Different Universes

Living life in this material world, it is easy to think that all that is real can be experienced through our 5 senses. We think we know what we know by what we see, hear, smell, feel and taste. But there is so much more that is going on beyond the reach of our senses.

We have a body that senses things. We also have a mind that interprets what the body experiences. Another word that describes the mind is soul.

( soul   sōl/

noun

noun: soul; plural noun: souls

 

The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being, regarded as immortal.

a person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity.

“in the depths of her soul, she knew he would betray her.”

The soul is said to consist of our mind, will and emotions.)

 

We also are a spirit. This spirit is our true selves. When I think, dream, plan, show kindness, act unkind, pray, love, hate…… These are all acts of my spirit.

These three things put together make up who we are. It’s like the body is the vehicle we use to act and function in this world. The soul is the power that drives the body and steers it into action based on the information the 5 senses provide. Our spirit is the truest part of us that makes the body and soul do what they do in the context of what we are and know to be true. The soul and spirit are the only two parts of us that are immortal. The body wears out and when it does, we discard it like an old suit.

If we are awake, we are aware of other universe’s besides our own. These universes are inhabited by beings that are different than us. They have been around a lot longer than us. In these universes reside angels and demons. They have the ability to move between our universe and theirs. They have the ability to act and influence us and our universe. And they are at war. The war is for our spirits. Most of us are not aware that this war is taking place, even though it has been going on since the garden of Eden.

The war is between good and evil and the prize is us. The war was started by our choosing evil over good, Satan over God. Fortunately, God loves us so much that despite the fact that we betrayed Him, He is willing to fight to get us back.

The wonderful truth is, He has already won that war. Unfortunately, mankind and Satan don’t seem to realize it. Satan and his army continue to try to convince us that the war is still raging. He is still doing everything he can to convince us that he still has power. Any power he has is temporary and actually an illusion. He and his minions continue to fight to convince us to choose his universe over God. But just like our universe, Satan’s universe will end. It is already happening.

But the skirmishes continue.

 

One of my favorite books was written by Frank Peretti. Its title is, “This Present Darkness.” Early in the book there’s an incident where a small-town Pastor is in his small church praying for his people and his town. It’s night. Outside, something is trying to break into the church to get to him. But this something is being closely watched. This is a fictional glimpse into the war that is still being fought over us.

Here is the passage from the book;

 

———————

 

The night scene of the quiet street was a collage of stark blue moonlight and bottomless shadows. But one shadow did not stir with the wind as did the tree shadows, and neither did it stand still as did the building shadows. It crawled, quivered, moved along the street toward the church, while any light it crossed seemed to sink into its blackness, as if it were a breach torn in space. But this shadow had a shape, an animated, creature-like shape, and as it neared the church sounds could be heard: the scratching of claws along the ground, the faint rustling of breeze-blown, membranous wings wafting just above the creature’s shoulders.

It had arms and it had legs, but it seemed to move without them, crossing the street and mounting the front steps of the church. Its leering, bulbous eyes reflected the stark blue light of the full moon with their own jaundiced glow. The gnarled head protruded from hunched shoulders, and wisps of rancid red breath seethed in labored hisses through rows of jagged fangs.

It either laughed or it coughed—the wheezes puffing out from deep within its throat could have been either. From its crawling posture, it reared up on its legs and looked about the quiet neighborhood, the black, leathery jowls pulling back into a hideous death-mask grin. It moved toward the front door. The black hand passed through the door like a spear through liquid; the body hobbled forward and penetrated the door, but only halfway.

Suddenly, as if colliding with a speeding wall, the creature was knocked backward and into a raging tumble down the steps, the glowing red breath tracing a corkscrew trail through the air.

With an eerie cry of rage and indignation, it gathered itself up off the sidewalk and stared at the strange door that would not let it pass through. Then the membranes on its back began to billow, enfolding great bodies of air, and it flew with a roar headlong at the door, through the door, into the foyer—and into a cloud of white hot light.

The creature screamed and covered its eyes, then felt itself being grabbed by a huge, powerful vise of a hand. In an instant, it was hurling through space like a rag doll, outside again, forcefully ousted.

The wings hummed in a blur as it banked sharply in a flying turn and headed for the door again, red vapors chugging in dashes and streaks from its nostrils, its talons bared and poised for attack, a ghostly siren of a scream rising in its throat. Like an arrow through a target, like a bullet through a board, it streaked through the door— And instantly felt its insides tearing loose.

There was an explosion of suffocating vapor, one final scream, and the flailing of withering arms and legs. Then there was nothing at all except the ebbing stench of sulfur and the two strangers, suddenly inside the church.

The big blond man replaced a shining sword as the white light that surrounded him faded away.

Light Into Darkness

Parkinson’s disease is classified as a movement disorder. My brain is lacking the substance that tells my body to move. My body wants to stay still. This gives me a lot more time to sit and think.

 

I have been thinking about free will lately. I know God gave man a free will. He obviously gave the angels a free will. (Satan used his free will against God and suffered the consequences.) I thought I had come to the conclusion that to have a free will, it was necessary to have the ability to make a wrong choice. Satan and all that followed him made a wrong choice. Adam and Eve made a wrong choice. They chose evil over good.

I thought about heaven. When we get there will we still have a free will, or could it be that we no longer have a free will because heaven is perfect and we will be perfect and not having the option of making a wrong choice.

The only beings with self-awareness I know to exist are God, man and angels. They all have a free will. But if free will requires the option to make a choice between what is right and what is wrong, God would not have a free will because it is impossible for Him to make a wrong choice or to choose evil.

Then I thought about light and darkness. It is said that darkness is the opposite of light, but it’s not. Darkness is the absence of light. Darkness is not a thing. It is only what happens if you remove light. Evil is not a thing. It is simply what happens when good is removed.

The question is asked, because God created everything, did God create evil? No. Everything about God and everything from God is good. Evil is the result of removing good. If that is true, then evil is not a choice made by a being with a free will, but the result of a being with a free will doing something that is not good. By their act, they are removed from God and by their act become evil. That is the result of the absence of God. Just like darkness is the result of the absence of light.

I believe that to have a free will is to have the will and freedom to be good, to do good, and the freedom not to do evil and not having to suffer the result of not being good.

 

As we travel down life’s path, from time to time we will come to a fork in the road. We must choose which way to go. Usually the wrong path is smooth and well maintained and heavily travelled. The right path is rough and obviously the path less taken, but we know in our hearts it’s the right way. Remember, we have the free will to take the right path and the freedom to not take the wrong.

Also remember, those that take the wrong path are not taking it because they have the free will to do it, but because they are struggling in darkness and have been deceived.

I Dream of Movement

Parkinson’s disease is classified as a movement disorder. The human body needs a chemical that certain cells in the brain were designed to produce. That chemical enables the body to move correctly. For some reason, as many as 20 years ago, those cells in my brain started to die. After about 80 percent of them were dead, my body started acting peculiar. It began to ignore what my brain was telling it to do. My body also began doing things my brain was not directing it to do. My body began to rebel. With the demise of those certain brain cells, the authority my brain had over the actions of my body began to break down, but not completely. My brain is still in control for the most part. But slowly, different systems of my body are acting on their own. This is happening with both types of movement, voluntary movement and involuntary movement.  With voluntary movement, like walking, my brain tells my legs to move a certain way to achieve a normal walking stride. My legs refuse and start a kind of shuffling movement. Without that chemical those brain cells previously produced, my legs ignore my brain’s instructions. They move the way they want too.

Then there’s involuntary movement, like digestion. When I eat, my brain tells my digestive tract to move the food through my body at a certain rate so the good parts of the food can be used where my body needs it and any waste can be disposed of all in a timely fashion. But again, without that chemical, everything slows down. My brain tells my digestive system to move things along at the normal rate. Instead, the system slows and backs up.

 

As time goes by, my body’s rebellion is intensifying. More systems are affected. My brain’s ability to maintain control is being compromised. With others that have this condition, movement has been known to stop. They refer to it as “freezing”. A person will be shuffling along and all of a sudden, their legs will just stop. They can’t move. When this happens, the persons brain needs a reboot. Many times, this can be accomplished by placing a small obstacle on the floor in front of the frozen person. The presence of this obstacle does something in the person’s brain that allows it to direct the legs to move again. Some people with this challenge use a walking cane that will shine a laser beam across their path that appears as an obstacle to the brain and they can move again.

 

I have heard people say that when an ability is lost, like sight or hearing, the person will dream and in the dreams what they lost is regained. They say the same regarding people that lose a limb. In their dreams, they are whole and can run and throw a ball. When I dream, I dream of movement. My body does what my brain tells it to do when and how my brain tells it to. My body does what my brain tells it to do when and how my brain tells it too.

 

To get good at any physical activity requires what is called muscle memory. Repeating a certain movement until the body moves that way without even thinking about it. It’s necessary to do this if you’re learning to shoot a gun well or throw a football. My body has lost its memory. When I dream of movement, I wake and I remember the feeling of the movement in the dream. Then with the first movement of the day, the truth that my body muscles have lost their memory becomes instantly clear.

 

They say Parkinson’s is not fatal. That’s good. I haven’t heard of anyone’s heart or lungs that have stopped because of the lack of dopamine.” That’s the name of the chemical that the dead cells produced.  So, things could be much worse.

 

I just have to deal with my dreams keeping the memories of movement alive.

Coping Mechanisms

I have Parkinson’s disease because my brain no longer produces a chemical called dopamine. My body needs this chemical to move and function correctly. My brain can no longer produce dopamine due to the fact that the cells that make it are dying. It may be ten to twenty years after they start to die that a person will notice any significant symptoms.

There is no test a doctor can do to diagnose Parkinson’s disease. It is a symptom diagnosed condition. When I saw the neurologist in 2009, I was referred to him by my family doctor after I described some things I had noticed going wrong. The neurologist spent about thirty minutes asking me questions and having me move different parts of my body. When the 30 minutes were over, he looked at me and said, “You definitely have Parkinson’s disease.”

He prescribed some pills for me to take that trick the brain into thinking they are dopamine. He told me that PD is a progressive, degenerative condition which means over time it will continually get worse. The good news he told me was that it isn’t fatal. People die with Parkinson’s, not from Parkinson’s. He also said most people have about ten years to continue working before the PD symptoms worsen to the point that working is no longer an option. But it’s different for everyone.

The insidious part is even though it may take twenty years before you know you have it, symptoms start almost immediately after the first cell perishes. Looking back from here, I recognize what my first symptom was. About twenty years ago I lost my sense of smell. That is a common non-motor symptom of PD. But of course, by itself there is no way to recognize it as a part of Parkinson’s. Slowly over the years, more things would show up from time to time that were troubling, but they all seemed unrelated. About 15 years ago, I started really suffering from depression and anxiety for no reason. Life was good. Great wife…great kids…great job…nice house. Life was exceeding my expectations. So why couldn’t I enjoy any of it and why was I so miserable. Again, I had no idea depression is a common PD symptom.

When people are confronted by something unexplainable and difficult to live with, we develop Coping Mechanisms. They are things we do to make the pain tolerable. Whether the pain comes from physical or mental sickness or heartbreak or loss. Hopefully, the mechanism we develop is a positive one, not alcohol or illegal drugs.

For the depression, I developed the habit of walking every day. I found a tree lined road close to my house and I would walk its length and back. Rain or shine, day or night, I would walk. Also, when it was warm out, every Sunday evening I would drive to the prettiest lake and watch the sunset.

I would of course take God with me on these walks and to these sunsets, but He would only listen. I knew He was there and I knew He was hearing me. I trusted Him enough to just let Him stay quiet.

 

Then one day, my wife and I were walking somewhere. She looked at me and said, ” Your left arm isn’t swinging when you walk.” We walked a little more and sure enough, it wasn’t. It just kind of hung there awkwardly. I started to think about all the weird things that had been accumulating over the years and the next time I saw my family doctor, I told him about all of them. When I had finished, he said, ” Sounds to me like Parkinson’s. That’s when he made the appointment for me with the neurologist.

I had two initial reactions to the news that I had PD. First was a profound feeling of relief. What’s worse than suffering is suffering for no apparent reason. Now my suffering had a name, Parkinson’s disease. Second, I immediately began to develop my coping mechanisms.

It’s been a long and ever-changing process. As I lose my ability to do things, I replace them with alternatives when I can. One of the things I have lost that is the hardest to adjust to is the inability to walk more than a short time. My walk is now a shuffle and after a short time I have to sit. There is also the constant danger of falling, (one of the two main reasons for someone with PD to be hospitalized. The other is choking). So, to keep my spirits up and allow me to get outside and get some exercise, I ride a bike every day. That’s my #1 coping mechanism. Of course, not the two-wheel kind. I would go maybe two ft and fall over sideways. Mine has three wheels. One in the front and two in the back. It’s called a recumbent delta trike.

I thank God for my trike. Other than when I’m sleeping, the only other time I don’t feel the Parkinson’s is when I’m riding my bike.

 

P.S. I have discovered that most of the time, God works silently.

 

 

The Selfishness of Sickness

When you have a progressive, degenerative sickness like Parkinson’s disease or any long-term health condition or injury, there is a tendency to become selfish. We are told by God to consider other people’s needs above our own. Most of my life I have known this command and have tried to live it. Now that I’m sick, I’m finding it more difficult to do. The requirements and demands of the disease are getting in the way.

Growing up a Christian trying to live an unselfish life, I know how hard it can be to deny ourselves and put someone else first. I understand why God asked us to do this. It’s one of those things that makes sense after the fact. The root of selfishness is pride. Selfishness is loving ourselves instead of loving God and others.

When I wasn’t sick, being unselfish was something I could choose to be. It was just a matter of making the right choice. There were no obstacles keeping me from choosing to be unselfish.

Now, Parkinson’s disease is conspiring with my body and brain to look inward rather than outward. Outward to the needs of others is where my gaze should be fixed.

Before my sickness, the moment by moment decisions and needs were mostly under my control. A situation would arise and I was free to decide what to do. A need would present itself, either for me or someone else, and I was free to fulfill or deny the need. What I found out about God was if I kept my attention on the needs of others, my needs would be taken care of. I had very little reason to look inward at my own needs. God always provided. I was free to consider other’s needs and the needs of my wife, my children, family, friend’s,

employers, co-workers and strangers, anyone that crossed my path. Many times, I failed in my attempt to live an unselfish life, but to live unselfishly was my desire.

Today, as I write this I find I am becoming a selfish person. A person that is more and more considering my needs more than the needs of others. I still know that God requires me to consider others more than I consider myself. It’s getting harder. When every part of my body is screaming, ” I’m in pain,” or ” I don’t want to move,” or ” I’m going to move whether you want me to or not,” it’s hard not to fix my gaze inward. When I refer to the selfishness of sickness, I can only speak of Parkinson’s disease/ Arthritis. (I have not spoken with many other sick people about what is being screamed at them, but I would imagine the screams are similar to mine and they are also being drawn inward).

These are a few of the obstacles Parkinson’s has placed in my path to being unselfish.

Making it difficult to find a place to be comfortable and remain comfortable for more than a short time.

Taking away my ability to walk more than a few steps without becoming exhausted.

Taking away my ability to stand unaided for more than a few minutes without having to sit.

Taking away my ability to speak loudly and clearly enough for people to understand what I am trying to say. With that, taking away my desire to speak because of frustration and embarrassment.

Taking away my desire for normal conversation because of fatigue and frustration.

Taking away the pleasure of eating out in public because of the fear of choking.

Taking away the pleasure of just leaving my house because of the fear of falling or just getting into a situation out of my control.

These obstacles and others that just show up regularly are making it hard to not be selfish. They cause me to want to always control my surroundings to meet my needs.

I know that God still wants me to do what He has asked us to do. He wants me to love Him. He wants me to trust Him. He wants me to love those around me. Because I am sick, those around me are fewer than before. My ability and opportunity to touch people’s lives is diminishing. I also know that being sick does not excuse me from being unselfish.

I was talking with my wife last night. I told her that I was concerned about the future and that my life was getting smaller and smaller and could soon disappear. Her response resulted in one of those moments that had the possibility of changing the course of the rest of my life. She told me I was fortunate and in a unique place. She said most Christians desire to know God better but the tyranny of the immediate, the demands of life and of time does not allow them to spend the time with God that they would like. She said I have been set free from that. Even though my body is bound, my mind and spirit are free to pursue God without limitation. Now that’s interesting. As long as my mind and spirit are free, I am free to live an unselfish life. It doesn’t matter if it comes to the point that my body can’t leave the house. I can still live the life God wants me to live. I can commit acts of unselfishness despite any obstacle placed in my path.

As I live out the rest of this blink of an eye that’s my life here on earth, I will probably be a tad selfish regarding what I must do to live a life with Parkinson’s. I may need to use tools to cope with the effects of the disease that will appear to be selfish. But my heart’s desire and my resolve will be to consider you and your needs above my own, whenever and however I can.

Beginnings

Even when you have more years behind you than are ahead of you, there are beginnings. They become less frequent as the years go by, but they never stop until you stop. Every moment is an opportunity for something new to begin. I have been married for 33 years and raised 3 people. I have worked ever since I was 15. I have lived a life that has risen above my expectations. That doesn’t mean the sun has always shined. It has rained. But for some reason the sun has been brighter and it has rained less often than I imagined it would. It’s hard to say where the expectations that my life has risen above came from. I just thought when I got here and looked back, I would not have enjoyed my life as much as I have. I feel there are two primary reasons for this.

#1 – I have great parents.

#2 – I found Jesus, (or He found me,) when I was 6 years old.

Because of those two factors, I have been able to make more good choices than bad choices. I don’t know why I had the parents I had or why God allowed me to find Him. I don’t know why other people have bad parents, or were born someplace where they didn’t find God. I do know that we live in a world we created. A better way to say it is, we live in a world we recreated. God created the world and mankind perfect. A part of that perfection was He gave us the power of choice. When we were confronted with the first choice between right and wrong, we chose poorly.  Our choice recreated the world. From the moment we did this, our choices from day to day and moment to moment have set into motion… disease, hunger, poverty, violence, injustice, perversion, lying, selfishness and everything else that flies in the face of perfection. We are responsible for all that is wrong in the world. Our bad choice even threw off the balance of nature and the universe. When what we call “a natural disaster” happens and things are broken and people die, the question is asked, “Why would God allow this to happen?” When what should be called “an unnatural disaster” happens, it’s our fault, not God’s. It’s our fault that there is hunger and poverty in the world. Even in this fallen world, we have the resources to meet most people’s needs…we just choose not to or turn away.

God is good, all the time. Satan is bad, all the time.

It was up to us which one to choose when the first choice was made. It’s been up to us ever since.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Than God

Christian’s get sick.

The first time the words “Parkinson’s Disease” were applied to me back in 2009, I started to think about healing. I believe that the supernatural removal of sickness and injury by God is real. I believe that my family and I have been the receivers of supernatural healing. It’s like my belief in the other things we thank God for…wisdom, protection, provision, joy and everything else that I believe God supernaturally gives us. God is active in our lives and cares about us. I also believe His ability to provide these things for us is limited. Limited not by Him, but limited by the fact that man changed God’s original universe.

We, mankind, started out perfect. God made us that way. We didn’t get sick, we had no lack. Everything was provided for us and it was all good. But we were not satisfied with everything. We wanted more. We wanted something we were not made to have. We wanted something more than God. We wanted something apart from God. We wanted to be God. And when a creature that had wanted the same thing, and had suffered the consequences, offered those things to us, we said yes. From that moment, we have suffered the consequences of wanting more than God and the choice of saying yes to the creature’s offer.

But instead of giving up on mankind, God has been working ever since to restore us to our original state of perfection. He desires our restoration so much, that He was willing to sacrifice His Son to achieve it. Everything He has done here on earth and beyond, ever since we believed the lie that there is anything more than God, has been done for our restoration. But even though His act of offering His Son provided the way for mankind to be restored, we have to want to be restored and accept it the way He provided.

We still live in a world that offers us more than God, even though those things do not exist. We still live in a world that offers life apart from God. It is an illusion. But we are still given the choice of God or more than God. And most still choose the illusion.

We, the people that choose God, still have to live in a world that was given away. That is the result of mankind wanting and choosing more than God. We gave it away to the creature that offered us the illusion that there was more than God. God had given the world to man to have dominion, and we gave the right to be here and work here to the creature. Even though God has provided the way for our restoration to perfection, we are still born and live out our lives in bodies that are made of the same material this fallen earth is made of. And we are subject to the same imperfections. We get sick. We get injured. We are born with flaws. We can find ourselves in a place of not having the basic things we need to live. The whole universe from our bodies to the stars, continually groan for the sons of God to be revealed. That has not happened yet. When it does, we will no longer get sick. Our bodies will never need healing. And we will return to the perfection God originally planned for us. Until then, Christians get sick. It seems like, some get healed, some don’t.

 

 

Off In The Distance

There I am, off in the distance. I know it’s me because of all the years we spent together. I look pretty much the same as I always have, just smaller. Because of the distance, it’s hard to hear what I’m saying, and it looks like I’m moving in slow motion. Those that are passing me by are trying not to look at me, but I can see their sideways glances when they think I’m not looking. I do see them, but I’m not troubled by them. The truth is, I’m glad they chose to see me. It means I’m still here. There are rare moments when I am afraid they won’t look anymore. I’m afraid a time may come when I will look, and I won’t be there. But these are just brief moments.

 

There it is, off in the distance: The world that was once mine. The world used to be a lot bigger and was full of things that were free for the taking. The world is much smaller now, and much of what had been free for the taking, things that only required me to reach out and grasp them, are now out of my reach.  As the world grew smaller, the distances grew longer. Time slowed down.

 

There they are, off in the distance….standing beside me…standing with me. They don’t seem to notice I’m different than I used to be. I try not to be different than I used to be, but most of the time it’s not up to me. I’m glad they are still there, though they seem to be fewer than before. I guess that’s because the world is a lot smaller; so there’s not as much room as there was before.

 

There He is, off in the distance…giving me hope and joy…making all my self-perceived challenges fade and revealing a future of effortless movement that will go on forever. God is encouraging me with the knowledge that even though the rest of my journey may be slow and unsteady, once the distance is crossed, and I arrive home, what is waiting for me is so wonderful, that all of the pain of this life will be forgotten. That’s when my true journey begins: My journey with God that will last forever.