Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wisdom and Aging

I thought I'd share some thoughts I passed along in the most recent monthly newsletter for our senior adults here at church.

As I was reading some jokes and one-liners the other day on a website that featured senior adult humor, I ran across two statements regarding wisdom that caused me to pause and think a bit. They both express the same truth about wisdom and aging. Here they are:
“It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.”
“Age doesn't always bring wisdom. Sometimes age comes alone.”

There is certainly a measure of truth in each of these affirmations. A part of wisdom is being able to learn and profit from our own mistakes. None of us is wise enough to always speak, act, or make decisions correctly 100% of the time. When we do mess up, we need to have the humility to recognize the fact and make amends if our words or actions have negatively affected those around us. Wisdom consists in large part of learning through trial and error what works and what doesn’t work—whether the activity in question is a hobby or pastime or something more serious such as seeking to relate well to family, friends, and fellow church members.

The source of wisdom of course is God Himself. It stands to reason then that if we would grow in wisdom as we grow older (something that the two quotes above suggest isn’t automatically assured), we would do well to invest our time in continuing to grow in our knowledge of God and His will for our lives. I’m convinced that this is a life-long process that doesn’t end just because we become senior adults. Every day can be a new adventure of walking in fellowship with Him and learning to experience His guidance in a deeper way.

Several years ago Henry Blackaby’s popular discipleship study, Experiencing God, taught us that one of the key ways that we grow in our relationship with God is by identifying where we see Him at work around us in our world and then joining Him in that process. My prayer for you in 2008 is that your spiritual antennae will be attuned to God’s activity around you and that you’ll find creative ways to join with Him in ministering to the needs of others.

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