July 13, 2016: Be Shaken

~by Louis Templeman

Be Shaken

As I was editing some of my work, I was simultaneously unwrapping a piece of chocolate. My left hand was trembling and making it hard to get to my treat. It is not a little irritating that, something so insignificant as getting to my candy, becomes a wrestling match. I had to take my eyes off the computer screen and give my opponent my full attention. Believe it or not, I was just changing the font size on this verse: Psalms 16: 7, 8: “I will bless the Lord who guides me. Even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.” (New Living Translation).

I was tempted to ask the Lord if he wanted me to read this nifty psalm to him. I wanted to make sure he was aware of Psalm 16: 7,8. I wondered if he needed a refresher course on his promises. There seems to be an appropriate irony that, as I write, hoping to entice others to faith and courage, I am doing work on my keyboard which requires a steady hand. The gospel musical artist, Andre` Crouch once wrote, “If I never had a problem, how would I know God could solve them.” I love that line, but at this moment I have a problem, Parkinson’s Disease, that neither God nor his smart medical researchers are solving.

I am really OK with it, because of several reasons. I have a long history of faith in God and have discovered his presence is more important than physical blessings; in fact, suffering is often a boost into faith, if handled with patience and trust. I know that sometimes the damnedest things work out for my benefit. The old adages are almost always true, such as: the long stormy nights usually end with a brilliant sunrise. But, whatever. I am determined to hang on to my faith. It is no hindrance. It is actually a lubricant that gets me through the day; and the night.

I am only 66. And, I am jealous of the 74-year-old Bernie Sanders and so many other older-than-me people who tear around with inexhaustible effort and leave me wondering how they do it. Parkinson’s Disease is a strange animal. There must be 30 to 50 possible side effects and it is the luck of the draw that determines which and how many each victim is hit with. A shaky hand, fatigue and sleeplessness are three of mine. Sexual issues can also be a symptom, but the Good Lord’s smart medical researchers have developed medicines for that. Thankfully, they have their priorities straight.

I guess this message ends like this, that my left hand is shakier than my faith. For that I am thankful. I am enjoying life in spite of medical issues. A steady faith in an unshakable God has been my great personal treasure for most of my life.

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Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

CLICK HERE to visit Louis’ Catholic Journeyman Archive

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