When Multiple Sclerosis and Lent Collide

Adding God to the MS balance beam

 

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Due to Holy Week Services (and, let’s be honest, the WEGO Health awards ceremony- yea!) I am posting this week’s blog a day early. Also due to Holy Week, this blog has a spiritual tint to it. I hope though, that even my non-believing friends will enjoy it from the aspect of how it incorporates another one of the elements of living with multiple sclerosis.

And really, how can you not believe in a higher power? I mean, God is freaking awesome! The sun, the moon, the Earth, the oceans and on the eighth day he created the Rolling Stones! How can you not love the creator of all that!! For me, Jesus is my God. Only someone that cool would be capable of creating Keith Richards and keeping him around past his over ten lives thus far. But no matter what you believe dear readers, I wish you great health and many, many laughs always….

 

I think I messed up the Lent thing. As a Christian, I was excited about the approach of this time of year. We use this time to grow closer to God with prayer, almsgiving (does trying to make people laugh count as almsgiving?) and fasting.

My goal was to take advantage of this opportunity. I saved change to put into the little cardboard box that was our church’s mission project to support Catholic Relief Services. I even put in quarters. When it was time to turn the box in on Palm Sunday and it seemed a little light, I even took some change out of another jar where I had been saving for my Lions Club.

 

Speaking of my Lion’s Club, I also fed the crew of a local Habitat for Humanity project in our club’s name. I didn’t have time to get fellow Lion’s to help me but that was ok as it was supposed to be a small crew.

The numbers increased however and thus it was that my fatigued MS self was slapping together ham and cheese on a windy morning for hungry construction workers. And unfortunately, as far as I could tell, not a one of them was single! (Not that that had anything to do with why I was there of course, it was about almsgiving.)

When two fellow Lions asked me to help them clean the God given beach, I did put a stop to that. Really, how much almsgiving can you do???

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For the prayer portion of Lent, I obtained many books about Jesus and set to grow in my relationship with Him. It worked; I have enjoyed a lot of what I read.

But here is where MS screwed me up. My brain takes much longer to process information. So, while I was reading all of these great spiritual works, I was taking up a ton of time in my already pretty crowded with exhaustion, day. That left no time for the things I should be doing for my general health.

Suffice to say, what I wound up unintentionally giving up for Lent, was working out with my Wii Fit. Officially, I gave up casual reading for Lent in favor of more involved spiritual material and was planning on curbing my sweet tooth. But before I realized it, I was fasting on getting exercise and I am not sure that counts.

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With MS there is so much you should do and so little energy to do it in. With Lent, there was so much I wanted to do and only forty days to do it in. Ok, technically, you don’t have to stop the prayer, almsgiving, fasting routine just because Easter arrives, but having a time table sure helps to keep you focused.

That is when I figured out where I went wrong. Focus is the key word.

There are always going to be more things I want to do and more things I have to do and I will always have to walk this MS balance beam of energy supply. Some days I may do it well, other days not so much.

But if I put God first, maybe I won’t have to balance Him with other things. Not even with MS. Maybe Jesus is the balance beam of energy. With Him first in my world, everything else will fall into place, even my Wii Fit, after it gets over being mad at me. Perhaps I will bring it an Easter basket….

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Here is the other thing I learned, as it says in scripture, “it’s never to late to start all over again.” Wait, maybe that isn’t scripture, maybe that is Steppenwolf. I will have to check my notes. I have also really been into 70’s music lately.

 

The point is, everyday you just have to give life your best shot. Wait, shot is not the right word. Jesus is all about peace and love, not violence-no shooting…

Ok, let me try a third way. We are humans and as humans we are total screw ups. But screwing up isn’t always bad if we can learn from our mistakes and keep our focus on what is right and what is good for us.

And, no matter how hard you try, you can’t use Lent as an excuse for not exercising!

 

(Check back in April for a “get fit” plan progress report!)

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6 responses to “When Multiple Sclerosis and Lent Collide

  1. I agree, Keith Richards is the poster-child of testing human strength–if HE can survive, we all can.
    Glad you mentioned your slow processing. I too read slowly (not that I’m a bad reader)–it just seems to take me longer to soak-in what I just read.
    And yes…like there is always room for jello, there is always time for exercise!
    Keep moving. Your body will thank you for it!

  2. LMAO about Keith Richards but it is true…. And wait a minute what are you doing looking for single construction workers? hhhmmmm weren’t you the one into fishermen and I liked the construction workers?…Of course now I am engaged to a fisherman and even thought in younger years I drove by MANY jobs sites never went with a construction worker.

  3. Sure if that’s your story I will go with it LOL

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