Ready or not, here I come(?), Part 1 of 4

A personal reflection on Matthew 25.1-13

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I like to be ready. Back in the day of my school days, all my homework done. To this day, all my organizational legwork done. My knowledge base intact. My inherent talents honed and at my command. My necessary tools at hand. Physically rested. Emotionally stable. Mentally alert. (Financially secure doesn’t hurt!) Ready to encounter come what may, come whene’er, come howe’er, even, to paraphrase the prayer, “the (sometimes foreseen) changes and (the often unforeseen) chances of this life.”

Being ready is an aspect of another universal goal of human living. Getting it, life right.

And it doesn’t matter whether my readiness is real as in my being self-assured that the requisite resources are within my reach or that it is more a matter of how I feel. Or both. The effect on my attitude is roughly the same. I am confident at heart with a vision of accomplishment in mind. Ready to prove my mettle, my merit.

Nevertheless, however ready I may want (even need) to be, on occasion, I am nagged by memories of times when I wasn’t ready. Such remembrances stir my anxieties about the possibilities that, at some future moment, I won’t be ready. Here, too, it doesn’t matter whether my unreadiness is real as in my wrenching awareness that I didn’t or may not have the requisite resources within my reach or that it is more a matter of how I feel. Or both. My attitude is the same. Little confidence at heart. Little clarity of visions of accomplishment. My self-image of competence torn. My tower of self-esteem built on the foundation of past achievements toppled.

As bad enough as this is, would that I didn’t have to feel the need to prove myself again and again. But I do. For life continues to present opportunities on which my sense of readiness rests and on which my sense of having gotten it (whatever the “it” is; life or some aspect of it) right rises and falls.

3 thoughts on “Ready or not, here I come(?), Part 1 of 4

  1. Wow!! This topic sure hits home for me Paul!! As you and I both know you surely can never “be ready” for dementia… not the diagnosis of it or the progression of the disease. What it has done for my life is to help me be more “ready” for other things that have occurred. That’s been helpful for me for sure!

    Much love!

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  2. Loretta, your comment, making the distinction about those things for which you cannot be ready (e.g., dementia and its diagnosis and progression) and (in that light, seeing more clearly) those things for which you can be ready, is illuminating to me and clarifying for me. Thank you…

    On reflection, I believe that I was stirred to write this post-series (at least, consciously) given my soon-to-start date on the clerical staff of St. Matthew’s, Spartanburg. Though, yes, I’ve had a number of experiences of beginnings and endings, nevertheless, each new occasion is, well, new; leading me to wonder: Am I ready?

    That said, there are things for which I could not be ready. On example among many… A recent tornado and, though, yes, delighted with the survival of our lives and with no damage to the house, having to encounter the clean-up and its costs, both financial and emotional.

    Again, I thank you for making this distinction plain.

    Love

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel so bad about the tornado damage …. been there. We lost all our backyard trees and our first deck in two different tornadoes. Nothing close to the size of age of the trees lost at Clevedale but we felt the loss for sure!!

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