My Mum bought herself a bike when she was in her seventies. I was there when she bought it, and the salesperson kept addressing me rather than my mother. It was not that she was senile, but I believe he wondered if she would be able to ride this bike. I’m thinking that because I had some big reservations too. Even with my help she couldn’t properly sit on the bike, and it did not look like she would have the balance to ride it. She did have the money to buy it though, and who was I to tell her that it looked like she wouldn’t be able to ride the bike. I wish I could tell you that she tried and persevered and learnt to ride that bike, but as far as I am aware she never even tried.
How do we manage to forget what we have learned? My Mum could not remember how to ride a bike. I actually knew a lady years ago who was German, but moved to the UK as an adult and had to quickly learn English. She always spoke with a strong German accent. As an older adult she complained to me once that she could no longer speak in German! That seemed so sad to me, to be unable to speak English without a German accent, but also to no longer be able to speak her native language. I forget things too. Mostly they come back quickly though, like this morning I was reminding myself how to find the effective interest rate ready for my class next week. I would not like to try and teach it without the review though.
Then there are the things that Lord teaches me. Some more than once. Like gratitude. That has been huge in my walk with the Lord. Again and again I have been reminded how important it is for me to express my thanks to the Lord, and this morning it happened once more. It’s not that I woke up sad, but I am struggling with this ongoing pandemic, and the need to avoid other people. I long to hug my grandchildren again, to worship with other people at church, and to sit down and chat with friends that I haven’t seen for too long. And it doesn’t help that many of my friends in the UK, people who are my age, have already been vaccinated, or will be in the coming days. We are a long way behind here in Canada, in fact the last thing I read said that less than one percent of the population has been vaccinated so far. This was on my mind as I opened my Bible this morning. And this is what I read “I’m writing to encourage you to pray with gratitude to God.” (1 Timothy 2:1, the Passion).
I have so much I should be grateful for, but I tend to forget. As I jogged with my dog a little later in the morning I deliberately reminded myself of some of those things. I thanked the Lord that I was able to run with my dog, that I had the appropriate clothes for this cold weather that we have right now, that my husband would have breakfast ready for me when I returned home. I thanked the Lord for my grandchildren and their parents, that we get to share in their lives, that we get to go on holiday with them in the summer, that they are all healthy, and that they seek to honour God with their lives. I thanked the Lord for my other daughter who has had huge health issues – that she is doing well right now, that she is in a safe place, that she is able to work, and that she makes the effort to regularly communicate with my husband and I. I thanked the Lord for my husband, who has also struggled with health issues. I thanked the Lord that Mike is doing ok right now, that he is working hard to be healthy, that we have fun together, and that I can spend as much time as I like with him. I thanked the Lord for my dog, who helps me to keep moving, and who greets me so affectionately when I return home on those rare occasions that I get to venture out without her. I thanked the Lord for my job of teaching online at the local college, that I can keep doing it throughout the pandemic, that it gives me some contact with other people, that it helps me to keep using my mind. Oh and I thanked the Lord for my neighbour who has put the word “GRATITUDE” in huge letters on his garage door! I appreciate the reminder that I have so very much that I take for granted, and yet again I will make the effort to focus on what I have rather than on what I do not have.