An escape from hurricane Lee for us, thanks be to God, though we could use the rain. What else did I escape?
To escape misfortune
Two days before Christmas last year, I hit a deer. My son and I were traveling along a dark stretch of road no more than three minutes from home. Suddenly, a large deer leaped across the road in front of our brand-new Subaru. I’d glimpsed the animal in my left peripheral vision and hit the brake but not in time to avoid collision. Plastic from the grill flew into the air, and the deer disappeared.
Though my left headlight was askew, I was able to drive home. Misfortunes happen; we can’t escape all of them. But I’m glad this one was not as bad as it could have been.
Still, I have questions. Could I have avoided the deer? Am I losing reaction time?
To escape mistakes
I can’t find my old backup sunglasses. They’re around here somewhere, but where? I usually keep them in my desk drawer or by the leashes on top of the dog crate, since I wear that pair when I walk the dogs. But in my distraction last week—my mind and dogs whirling—I must have broken pattern. Did I lay them down somewhere or prop them on my head while weeding in the yard, and they fell off without my notice?
I make mistakes and sometimes misplace things, but this troubles me. Am I losing my mind?
To escape aging
I’ve had arthritis in my hands for nearly thirty years, starting with the middle joint of my right-hand pinky finger and now impacting almost all of my fingers. For those so afflicted, there are treatments, but there is no escape once you have this condition. Though sometimes uncomfortable, over the years, I’ve been able to compensate for lessening hand strength and movement in my fingers. But impacts have been increasing.
Squeaks and squawks escape my flute mostly due to mistakes on my part. Now mistakes include the misfortune of arthritis. Periodically over the past two years, the middle joint of my ring finger has become inflamed. Steroid shots help reduce the swelling but cannot stop misshaping, as in the middle picture above.
Now my ring finger is having trouble reaching the in-line G key on my college flute (left picture). And the swollen joint catches the A key on my new flute with the dropped G (right picture). Will the steroid shots continue to help? Joint replacement is both a possibility and a gamble, because there’s no guarantee I’d regain the range of motion necessary to play.
So, I ask myself, how long until I’m confined by the challenges of aging?
To escape confinement
There is no escape from the confinements of age. But that doesn’t mean I have to complain about it. I can choose joy. If I can’t play flute or drive or weed or walk the dogs anymore, I know there are other ways to proclaim the Gospel and serve the Lord. In this world, faith is the only way to escape and be free of misfortune, mistakes, aging, and confinement.
Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians while in prison. And yet, his joy knew no confinement.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-8
Linkup with Five Minute Friday: https://fiveminutefriday.com/2023/09/14/fmf-writing-prompt-link-up-escape/