Clearly, I was distracted. I’m not sure you can be clearly distracted, but I was…let’s say…strung out. I had Ezra, my 17-month-old grandson with me, so that’s automatic happiness and automatic craziness. I was headed to an out-of-town meeting with some folks. Glenn was driving me in a horrific rainstorm and so I was looking at my iPhone; reading some email and Facebook prayer requests and requests for counsel about some marriage issues. The house I’d left behind had laundry all over the hall floor and toy trucks and helicopters and mermaids and crumbs everywhere. All over the bedroom floor was unpacked luggage from earlier trips. There was unread mail and unpacked shopping items on the counter (Wish that was all that was on the counter.) It had been a day for squeezing in stuff I did not expect. In fact, I had done a few of those kinds of days back to back.
Earlier in the week, my sisters and I had made a firm decision to inject coconut oil into the food at my dad’s house to boost his short-term memory abilities. We’d read amazing things in places like this—http://www.naturalnews.com/039811_coconut_Alzheimers_dementia.html. Although we know you can’t believe everything you read on the internet, we thought “What can it hurt?” We’d also been trying to figure out how we were going to juggle things during the upcoming week of the gospel meeting where my Dad worships, which, coincidentally, occurs at the same time as our own gospel meeting at West Huntsville. He would need help with things like getting his dishes to the fellowship hall, parking, etc…so we were all about making a plan for that week.
Well, somehow, in the frantic fray of the afternoon, I got confused about the date of the gospel meeting at Jacksonville. So I proceeded to make my daily afternoon check-in call to Dad:
Me: “Hey, Dad. How are you doing?”
Dad: “Pretty good. How are you?”
Me: “We’re good. Are you getting ready for church?”
Dad: For church? This is not Sunday, is it?”
Me: No, but Dad, did you forget? It’s your gospel meeting!”
Dad: “To tell the truth, I guess I did forget. I better get up and get my socks on and go to that. I guess it’s at seven?”
Me: “Yes. It’s at seven. You still have time, But I’m worried about you. You do not remember going to the meeting yesterday?”
Dad: “No, I can’t really remember that, but, I’ll get ready and go. I’m glad you called me because I was going to forget all about that.”
So then, of course, I contacted Sami, my sister who had just left his house. No answer. I tried her husband…her son. No response. Finally I left a message on Sami’s phone…”Dad did not even remember that the gospel meeting was happening this week. Did you figure out someone to help him with the fellowship meals and the driving? Let me hear when you get a chance. Love you.”
A few minutes later, I got a call from Sami.
Sami: “Hey…but the meeting is not this week. Remember? It’s the first week in March?”
Me: “Oh dear. You are right. I have to go right now. Bye.”
Of course, I immediately called my Dad, who was hurrying, as much as a nonagenarian hurries, to try and get there by seven. Bless him. He was going to brave the storm to get to an evangelistic effort that I just thought was happening at the Jacksonville church of Christ. On learning that I was the one with the mental glitch, he said “Well, I didn’t think there was a meeting going on, but I took your word for it. Thank you for calling me back. I think I’ll go back to bed, roll back over and go back to sleep.”
Four lessons learned (or at least temporarily cognitively stored in short-term memory):
- When you truly trust someone, you just put aside everything you were thinking and go with the trusted individual . That’s, unfortunately, what my dad did. He trusted me. That was not the right thing to do, because I’m obviously fallible (and crazy). But that’s how we are with the heavenly Father if we really trust him, and it is the right thing to do. We’re willing to ditch our own plans and do life His way.
- Love your sisters. It’s a group effort to successfully serve your father on earth. It is certainly a group effort to serve the heavenly Father. You need your sisters. They’ll help you keep life straight. Thank God for them every day.
- Focus on the Father. Sometimes things…even important things…can make you lose your focus and get mixed up about what’s going on with the most important relationship..the one with the Father.
- Don’t be trying to get the speck out of someone else’s eye when the beam is in your own eye (Matthew 7:3-5). That’s exactly what I was doing…going nuts over the fact that my dad was forgetting important things when it was actually me who was forgetting. Sometimes I do that with sin. The sin that drives me crazy in the lives of others is the very sin with which I struggle or even to which I fall. Keep trying to help others overcome sin, but be sure you always have the humility and focus to look inwardly while you’re helping others (Galatians 6:1)….
Maybe you need to get the coconut oil for your own pantry. It is going on my grocery list for my own pantry…today! If it doesn’t work, I hope you’ll visit me at the home.