Friday, March 20, 2009

It's a small world after all

Yes, I am at home today.  I'm rather tired today and feeling a little unsteady on my feet. 

When one has limited mobility due to breathing difficulties or anemia, it is amazing just how small one's world becomes.  Simply walking to another room leaves one panting for breath and so you make sure that 1) you really need to go there, and 2) you have everything with you before you go or already at your destination.  And once you reach where you want to go, you make sure that everything is within arms length or, like in my home office, within distance of how far you can push the office chair across the floor (trying not to run over your oxygen line in the process).  When something is not within easy reach, you find yourself asking "Do I really need this?" or you wait until someone happens by whom you can ask for help without being too much of a bother.  You wait to go to the washroom because you know that you will be out of breath by the time you get there, so you clamp down and show amazing self-discipline... until it's almost too late and then you end up having to move faster than you should, making you realize that you're a bit of an idiot for not going when you could still walk to the washroom at a leisurely pace.  Your bladder is always going to win anyway!

Your life becomes a collection of things you will probably need; facial tissue, pens/pencils, pads or assorted pieces of paper that you jot things down on before you forget, cell phone, book, wallet... that's about it.  You leave them in the places you typically haunt or you carry them in your pockets.  You try to remember to clean out your pockets each night though because it bugs your wife when she washes your sweat pants with tissues still in the pockets... or cell phones!

My life at home is limited to about 50 feet from my oxygen machine.  That's how long the line goes.  It's been at least two months since I have been in the bottom two levels of my house; too many stairs, too far away, no need to go there.  Don't even really care what's down there now; might as well be another planet.  Think my brother-in-law is sleeping down there the last few days. Hope he is comfortable; not that I am going to check though, to be honest (am I sounding a bit like Dr. House??).

Having lived so much of my life on a larger scale, this new smaller life has taken a bit of time to get used to. My world is largely my office a day or two a week, the top three floors of my home, and the hospital.  It’s not all bad. I don’t have to complain about not being at home anymore and not being to spend time with my wife and family!

I am getting used to it and guess what?  I am finding that I can still make a difference in the larger world, thanks to Skype, email, blogs, and cell phones.  It's not the size of your world that really matters. It's the size of your influence.  By God's grace, I am going to keep trying to make a difference for Him for as long as I can.  No matter how large or how small my world gets.


Felix said...

Glenn,we got back (as you know already0 from that trip to West Ukraine. We have a lot of fun and blessings together. Floyd will tell you more. I didn't know about your blog, Floyd told me. Thank you. It is good to be in touch with you, Brother.
You know, it is maybe second time for Floyd in Ukraine and he make it from East border to the West border. We have been 20 km from Russian border at the East and 20 or less km from Romanian border. It's a small world after all.

Glenn Penner said...

It's either that or you drive very fast and for very long, Felix. You are becoming famous for taking me and my staff on "death march" style trips :-). Glad you found my blog and great to to hear from you, my dear friend.

Jim McDowell said...

Hello Glenn and Denita

Appreciate the sharing of life that comes with this blogging. I wonder how many readers there are or will be as word gets around that you are talking to the world from your home. I wish, also, that you would have time to finish the items you identify as important. Have you outlined briefly somewhere what you would do regarding an edit of your book? Or what your doctorate would have been? A stage 4 cancer friend of ours today wrote that God has the last word, not the enemy(ies) we are battling. Denita, Pat and I pray for rest and recovery for you in whatever way, natural or supernatural, God could bring that about.

Glenn Penner said...

Hi Jim. Good to hear from you.

Well, Jim, as to the number of readers, I have between 50-100 who log in each day. Sometimes more. I do know that it is growing, but that's not a real big priority to me. My persecuted church blog is actaully more important to me. This is more for family and friends.

The edit on my book would be extensive. Not really an edit so much as a revision and not so much correcting things but adding information that I have collected over the past few years in books and thesis. The Psalms, the Gospels and Revelation need the most work.

As for my doctorate, as I mentioned in my blog, I was hoping to write on "suffering for righteousness in the book of Psalms". This would have covered the laments and imprecatory psalms in particular.

What I would really like to to find some young scholar and help him work through this project (revising my book)

Yes, God does have the last word and I hope that his word is that I will have more time that I imagine (2-3 years might be nice). One never knows; I have bounced back before.

Jim McDowell said...

You've given us some things to pray about, Glenn, in your response above. I did note that you had earlier outlined the idea for the PhD thesis, and I'd not picked it up. While that would have needed to be your own to do (no surprise to either of us), I really would encourage the idea of a young scholar collaborating with you on the revision of the book. Especially if you have resources that can be drawn on. Hopefully your network is wide enough to find that person? Perhaps Bob Morris and the TIM Centre's network could augment the search, if desired.