I have this terminal illness. My energy level is microscopic.
[People ask me how I’m doing. I say I’m hanging in there. They say they are glad I’m feeling better. How do I tell them I’m not feeling better? I think I might just start mentioning that I’m dying, but other than that, I’m not too bad.]
My mind is very active and I have more time to read than ever before in my life. My choices of reading material are made with great care; I will read a limited number of books in the time I have remaining.
I have always been a teacher. I am frustrated now because I have almost no outlet for sharing what I have learned or what I am thinking. I feel like I’m at an all-you-can-eat buffet, stuffing myself. People all around me are hungry, but I’m only feeding myself.
I’ve always had to feed myself. I’ve never ever had a church experience that fed me much. I don’t understand people who leave a church because they aren’t being fed. If that was what it was all about, I would have attended a different church every Sunday of my life.
But now I can’t share myself with anyone else. I’m too tired to go to church, too tired to teach a class, too tired to lead a group, too tired to write anything meaningful, too tired to even converse with friends, too tired to find a creative way to share.
I am in turmoil, because I know that I could have some influence on a small group of people if only I had some energy. But I have none to share. My energy gets me from my bed to my desk to my chair to my bed and that’s about it. Meanwhile, the world is burning around me and I can’t do anything about it.
I know that I have wasted the opportunities I once had to be of use to God. I see things clearly that most people don’t think about. But clear sight is now a mockery. My spiritual gifts are wasted and wasting. I could write my own book of Ecclesiastes. Maybe I will.
Just now I was reading something that made me aware (again) of the wrong direction the evangelical church has gone in my lifetime. I hurt in my bones because of it. I want to shout and rant and scream. I’ve done those things before to no avail. Now I can’t do them.
My temptation is to stop reading stuff like that. It hurts like the dickens. Maybe I should just read some novels and some classics and some short stories and some light fiction and slowly put my mind to sleep. Maybe I should stop reading about the theological interpretation of scripture, about the Old Testament being neglected as scripture, about the people of God. Maybe I should fold my tents and get ready for the long sleep. Just wait for resurrection.
That’s what I’m tempted to do. I doubt I’ll give in to the temptation.