It happened as I approached my fortieth birthday. Glory, my sister-in-law of happy memory, called me at least twice a week, saying, “It’s over now. You’re going to be forty. It’s over now.”
She psyched me out. On my fortieth birthday, I felt depressed. Was it all over? Am I really going downhill now?
Well, I got over that in short order (no more than six months!).
But, it happened again when, in July 2014, I celebrated my eightieth birthday.
No one psyched me out.
I did that for myself.
I became quite concerned with my age and with periods of forgetfulness—like turning toward church instead of continuing straight to my doctor’s office. (Or was that prophetic?) Then I noticed I was becoming confused as I assisted at Mass—doing what I was supposed to do a bit early or a bit late.
As a result, I was fairly well down on myself.
One day recently, I was praying rather earnestly about my “fading life.”
Know what? It was like a light came on. I was feeling sorry for myself, concentrating on the negative instead of, as the old song goes, accentuating the positive. I realized that, during Mass and at other times when I was supposed to be concentrating and productive, I was not thinking but moping.
That awareness was a great blessing.
I decided to change my focus and my ways.
Scheduled to assist at two Masses this weekend (August 2 and 3), I prayed. I thought ahead. I prepared for my liturgical ministry. I didn’t just show up—sort of self-confident that I could do what I had to do automatically. I cast off, with God’s grace, the negative impulses to which I had so unwisely surrendered.
During his homily, our priest preached on the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. He said that the disciples focused on what they did not have—enough food for the huge crowd of men, women and children. They saw only their limitations.
Father told us to focus on what we do have rather than on what we do not have.
Accentuate the positive!
Glorious positivity! I have eighty years of life experience, of good times and rough times, of doing good and doing not so good, of darkness and light, of sickness and health, of joy and sadness. I have twenty-eight years of ministry as a deacon; and for the past fifty-five years I have been engaged full-time in the Church—as a journalist, lay minister, author, retreat facilitator.
I am alive, upright and active! And, with God’s help, and yours, I will continue to accentuate the positive!