They say when you have Parkinson’s disease, the chances of struggling with cognitive issues as it progresses is greater than those who live without the little monster. I don’t know if my ‘cognitive issues’ are attributed to PD or not, but I seem to struggle with concentrating and being easily distracted. I especially notice this when I am praying.
For example, I begin to earnestly pray, usually thanking God for who He is. I might say something in reference to praising Him for His faithfulness. Which makes me think of something specific He has been faithful in – like bringing back the spring after a hard winter, which makes me think of flowers, which makes me think of the seeds that I planted the day before, which makes me think of all the stray cats around the neighborhood, which makes me think of all the messes they make and then…
I realize I have wandered again and just started thinking about cat pooh in the middle of my prayer to a holy God and I’m never gonna get it right. I feel guilty and ashamed. Who in their right mind thinks about cat pooh when praying to the Almighty God who, by the way, could turn the disobedient into a pillar of salt? Who would dare do such a thing?
Me. Because I have this little monster (who sometimes doesn’t seem so little) right on my tail 24/7 and he can be quite relentless. Because Parkinson’s disease can wreak havoc with your cognitive thinking – our ability to concentrate and not be distracted (among other things), causes you to thank God for his faithfulness, only to end up thinking about cat pooh.
Because this is not just an isolated problem for me (I hope), here are some suggestions to help with this:
- Write down your prayers.
- If you’re like me, writing with a pen or pencil is becoming obsolete, so try typing Your prayers.
- If you’re like me, typing well only happens about once a day at most, so if you get discouraged typing, make lists. Write down who and what you want to pray about and when you find yourself wandering, it will help you get back on track.
- Pray out loud.
- Pray with another person.
Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18 where we are admonished to pray without ceasing? I think Paul wrote this for Parkinson’s people knowing we struggle with distractions. If we’re constantly in prayer, even with all the distractions our minds find, we’ll eventually get everything covered on our prayer list, even if it deals with cat pooh.