I was talking to a very dear friend the other day. She was talking about how she feels these days as she is aging. She is unmarried and feels alone. Her eyes are not what they used to be, and she knows her hearing isn’t either. She looks at the future, and it feels as though she is just waiting to die. Because longevity runs in her family, she fears she could have another twenty years to live, and she wonders what the use is.
She has grandchildren she enjoys, and she holds onto the love of watching them grow up to give her some solace. I have felt that way too, and I don’t have grandchildren, but I have a husband I love very much. So I know this is a familiar feeling. She loves to travel but doesn’t want to go alone. She had a great career that gave her purpose, and she was a missionary for five years overseas, but now they are over. She has felt vital, but now she doesn’t.
Comparison Is A Trap
Part of the problem could be that she compares her life to those who have more money, are married, or feel better physically. The comparison is downfall or at least a spiral down. It is a trap we walk into ourselves. There will always be someone doing better, feeling better, more active. None of us should connect our worth to the value we felt because of our career or money.
The question is, what should we do about it if we find ourselves in that trap? No one would want to be in that trap for twenty or so years. It’s easy to say—get over it, get more active, get involved with volunteer programs that give you a purpose—but as adults, we don’t like being told what to do or have someone point out our lack of ambition.
Ask Five Whys
Our first action may be to understand why we feel so useless. Is it something we can change? What is keeping us from being more active if that is our problem? Someone once said we should ask ourselves “why” five times, which will help us get to the problem’s root. Why do I feel useless? Why am I not______? For example: Why am I feeling useless? Because I’m not active or interacting with others? Why am I not interacting with others? Fill in the blank. Why? Once we get to the root problem, we can see ways to solve it, or at least we can pray for God’s wisdom concerning it. Then move onto the next uneasiness and ask why five times more.
God Never Intends Us to Be Miserable!
God never leaves us in misery. Jesus has promised never to leave us or forsake us. We are never alone, and we are never left to our own devices to muddle through life. Jesus said He came to give us abundant life. John 10:10 Maybe we have forgotten we are a Child of God. Maybe we forget we are created with a plan and a purpose. Perhaps we forget Jesus wants to help us.
Have You Prayed About It?
As we listen to the news, our grandchildren, our neighbors, or Social Media, we may feel the darkness closing in around us and those we love. Even with poor eyesight or hearing, we can pray for Light to come into the world, and for those, we are to minister.
I have a plaque at my kitchen sink that says, “have you prayed about it?” That is the question we need to ask ourselves daily or even hourly.