Aug 9, 2007

Wine or Shine

I was riding my bike to work this morning. When the storm system go through, I get extra aches and pains. I have a mild case of Fibromialgia. I'm starting to wonder if that goes hand in hand with the Autism Spectrum.

Because of my over aroused sensory system when I was riding past a sprinkler system that was misting some ones lawn, each drop that shot at me hurt a little. Of course then it began to rain and I was just wet all over. The rain was nice and warm though.

I don't like being wet.

I shouldn't have to ride in the rain.

No one else I know has to ride in the rain.

Those were some of my thoughts. That's when I decided to do some serious self talk. You see, some of the people I admire accomplished great things for the societies around them with less resources than they needed and with obstacles and difficulties at the same time. The didn't wine about it (at least not in the books they wrote).

Instead their attitudes and actions made them stand out from the crowd. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was imprisoned in 1943 because he helped fund the escape of Jews from Germany. He was executed in 1945 after he was traced back to a plot to overthrow Hitler. Bonhoeffer never let his circumstances define who he was, and he took solace in the truth that true freedom (i.e. inner freedom that comes from trusting Christ) can never be taken. Inner freedom can not be taken away by other people or even by death. He decided to SHINE instead of WINE.

He must of had bad days, painful days, days when he had nothing good to say to anyone. Everyone has those days. Don't you think there were days when he was mad at God for his circumstances? Those, however, where the exceptions. The general flow and direction of his life was to affirm and act upon the basis of His Christian principals and inner freedom.

I have other heros that I could write about later. I have to admit, I have yet to read any of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's books. I know the basic outline of his life and some of his most famous quotes. Initially I've been afraid to read his books, because I think they will force me to a new level of living. A level at which I want to live. Changing levels is always painful.

Now, with missions prep, I have limited time for reading since I have quite a bit of assigned reading. You'll know if I'm reading one of his books or a book about him. His best known work is "The Cost of Discipleship". You'll know if I'm reading it, because I'll have to tell you about it.

Anyway, back to shining.

Being wet is a temporary situation. So is everything in life, including life itself. It is our soul/spirit that is eternal. Eternity is huge in comparison to the hundred or so years we will live in this life, so even the worst trial in this life can be considered a momentary affliction when placed in view of eternity.

So, my fellow Aspies, what areas can we learn to endure and move on. How often are we trapped by our condition, unwilling to extend into areas of discomfort. Maybe it's time we strive against the odds and against our circumstances and push past into areas that make us uncomfortable. I think it's time that we try that thing that scares us. Or try a little bit of it.

And while we are trying it look for better and more effective ways to deal with the stress, but don't run from the stress of trying new and uncomfortable things. Endure and move forward in life, since the pain is only a momentary reality.


1 comment:

  1. Hi, Adam: Once again, your words have inspired me and lifted me up. My late husband was the type of person you are discussing in this blog. You see, he had Multiple Sclerosis and had to spend the last two years of his life in a rest home. It was a welfare rest home and not very nice. I don't remember Joe ever having one bad day. I asked him how he found the strength to always see the bright side of life even when he was surrounded by darkness. He said there were three things which made this possible. 1) was me and my love, 2) was his faith in God, 3) was the fact that he lived each life "in the moment" and found something position in that moment. He didn't look too far ahead to the "what if's", nor too far behind to the "what were's". By the time Joe passed away, he was unable to move his body at all. He couldn't turn over, he couldn't raise a spoon to his lips and he couldn't get out of bed. I think he would have felt truly blessed a) to have been able to ride a bike under any circimstances (wet or dry - just to be able to move his legs and arms) and secondly to have had the luxury of being outdoors.

    Thank you for writing your blog and making me think of so many things.