Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. Psalm 128:1
I have always enjoyed hiking and being outdoors all my life. I have hiked in some spectacular places in Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas, Arizona, Maine, Vermont, New Mexico, and North and South Carolina. Whenever I have gone hiking in unfamiliar areas, I have always followed the marked trails because they provided the best routes and safest walking conditions for the rugged terrain.
Today’s passage reminds us that we are blessed if we fear the Lord and walk in His ways. Obviously there are many paths to take in life, but the path of righteousness is by far the best path with the safest conditions. Along this path, God will guide your steps, keep your safe, provide contentment along the way, and give your life purpose as you adhere to His wonderful ways. No matter what valleys you may have to travel through, you will never walk alone for His rod and staff will comfort you!
I still remember the day I was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease back in 2009. I wondered how I was going to survive, how I would handle the daily demands brought on by the disease, and what the future would hold for me. I remember asking God to guide my daily steps and keep me on the right path through this unfamiliar valley. A path that would prolong my good days and ease the frustration of my foggy days. Somehow, He placed me on the perfect path of following the Best Practices which has made all the difference as I deal with the daily demands of this disease. These Best Practices include:
- Taking my medication daily and at the proper time.
- Exercising vigorously every day (walking, aerobics, vigorous housework, garden and yard work, and farm chores).
- Doing mentally challenging activities each day (writing, reading, crossword puzzles, and Sudoku).
- Socializing frequently at church, memory cafes, support groups, and friend’s homes.
- Eating a Mediterranean diet.
- Practicing my spiritual disciplines daily (reading the Bible, prayer, writing devotions, and attending church).
These best practices have kept me on a path that has enabled me to be somewhat independent and less of a burden to my caregiving wife. God has blessed these best practices in my life and for that I am truly thankful. If you are struggling with dementia, I urge you to integrate the Best Practices into your daily routine. Then allow God to keep you on the proper and perfect path to bless your efforts.