You will understand it better by and by was one of my father’s favorite expressions. Now, I understand more clearly what he was talking about. Hopefully, I’ve gained a bit of wisdom. The Old Testament saint, Job, said, “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.”
Unfortunately, wisdom is not automatically connected with aging. Nor is the number of megabits of information stored in our brains an accurate measurement of the wisdom we possess. Wisdom is not necessarily related to IQ. The kind of learning that makes a difference is not how much we know but what we do with what we know.
Wise people, according to the Gospel of Luke, are the ones who are just, righteous or godly. (Luke 1:16,17) And, according to Jesus, greatness is related to being childlike. (Matthew 18)
Yet, keeping up with the changes and understanding how to navigate my way in an ever-changing world is still brings me some anxiety. Apparently, this is a common fear. (My post with the most views for 2017 was Freedom From the Fear of Aging. )
My plan for 2018 is the keep on learning, to gain a wisdom by diligently putting into practice the knowledge that I, by diligent study and God’s grace, have been given. I do not want to be included with the leaders whom Dallas Willard, in his book The Great Omission, says “do not finish well”.
In the following poem, I express something of what that means for those of us who are seniors. In future posts, I will share more about what it takes to “finish well”.
Lord, as we face many changes
We need help; we’re not yet sages.
We can’t assume that we’ve made it
And need no more to be aided.
When our bodies don’t feel as strong,
We find that we can’t get along
On just your word for yesterday;
We need fresh insight for today.
Might there be new ways we could think;
Yet with the old remain in sync?
Could we adapt and learn to say
What still is true another way?
Before we judge the younger folk
We need for you to take a look
At us! Is our journey complete?
Assuming so would bring us defeat.
Perhaps there’s more than just our spine
That can get swollen—out of line.
Oh Lord, we greatly need your grace—
Your hand to help us in this space—
This short gap between birth and death
In which we’ve been given breath.
We thank you, Lord, for all of life–
Love, laughter, hardship, strife.
You’ve brought us safely through each storm,
And we will trust in your strong arm
To keep us in our senior years
Steadfast in faith and free of cares.
10/5/2017 Jane Ault