Friday, January 14, 2011

Activites of Daily Living

Fr. Dale Matson
“ADLs are defined as the things we normally do...such as feeding ourselves, bathing, dressing, grooming, work, homemaking, and leisure. The ability or inability to perform ADLs can be used as a very practical measure of ability/disability in many disorders.” (

While the Christian life is one of liberty as led by the Holy Spirit, it is also one that is conducted decently and in order. (1 Cor. 14:40, KJV). The passage is used most frequently when discussing the order of worship but it is primarily about the witness of worship. This can also be applied to life in general which is lived as worship. How do we offer witness to others by the way we conduct our lives? I am not just talking about the public witness of church attendance. Are we faithful in conducting our Christian ADL’s?

I do not believe that a Christian led by the Holy Spirit needs to live a hectic, undisciplined, under-productive life. It is contrary to the life that Christ has given us. “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10b, KJV).

The prayer closet part of the Christian’s life is conducted as the Christian ADL’s. Here are some ideas for the ADL’s. How do you begin your day?

I rise early before the other occupants of the house awaken and begin with a daily devotional. It sets the tone for how the rest of the day is conducted and there are numerous devotionals available to choose from. Following this I journal the previous day’s highlights and this also reminds me of things left undone. I include my dreams because God speaks to us in our dreams. My wife and I walk our dogs together and discuss our previous day and anticipated events of the current day. So much of remaining oriented requires a continual reorienting as we move through our day. I then exercise with various sport activities. As a part of my day, I make sure to connect with at least one friend and one relative. I don’t mind being the one who usually initiates the contact. Meals are a great reason to get together. I am retired so volunteer work is helpful to others and necessary for me however these ADL’s were a part of my life while employed. My email and blogs are modern ways I also stay in touch with others and attempt to affirm or encourage them. I also attempt to write on a topic that strikes me each day and re-frame a complaint into a statement of the desired end result.

What about travel? I take the same routine on the road with me. I have a travel journal that I can remove pages from and put them in my home journal. I take swimming goggles, bike helmets, running shoes etc. with me.

These are my ADL’s that regularize, standardize and organize an ordinary life. These are not measures of an especially Holy life. They are the measures of a normal Christian life that continues to sustain me and those who God brings me into contact with including those He brings to my remembrance. I hope others never feel that I don’t have time for them and that when I am with them; I am not paying attention because I am frantic to be somewhere else. “Come unto me, all [ye] that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28, KJV). Amen.

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