Ansell: With age comes wisdom --- and we should listen to it
I’m mad at my mother today (not really). I just got back from the dentist and found out my receding gum problem is probably inherited from her. The good news is the dentist said my teeth are not going to fall out anytime soon.
I have to admit I’ve only been to the dentist about five times in the last 38 years. I’ve only had one cavity in that time and it’s the one they are going to fill next month when I go back and the hygienist said, “I was a good brusher.”
High five to me but here’s the deal. As I sat in the dentist chair hearing some bad news it made me realize that I should have made it a goal at a much younger age to take care of my teeth, have them cleaned twice a year and be under the care of a good dentist. As soon as I got home I sent text messages to the kids to listen to their old, tired and oftentimes much too cynical (they say it's not that cynical people care too little, it’s that they care too much) of a dad about making the investment in oral care.
All of that made me think about these three passages. Job 12:12 tells us, “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.” Proverbs 16:31 says, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.” And Proverbs 23:22 reminds us, “Do not despise your mother when she is old (what about our spiritual moms — they count too).”
Those Scriptures compelled me to think about older saints, people that love Jesus and are way older and smarter than me. Why are they not sharing important spiritual truths, things that really matter with people younger than them? Why are we not hearing more often about the victories and even the regrets so that we might avoid those same potholes and detours as we walk with Jesus? Don’t we long to hear these stories from the spiritual sages that are all around us? Have we silenced these people? Have we asked them to stay in their lane and to stay on the sideline? Have we not given them the proper platform? Maybe we are not raising our hands and asking for help?
I have some wonderful spiritually mature people in my life and I am so grateful for each of them. They invest in me and they pour into me like a spiritual parent or grandparent. Sometimes it’s not wanted but much needed and I am never disappointed as they bless me with wise counsel.
Can I share a secret? I know this is just between us — in a way I am looking forward to the day when I am old and bow legged and can no longer climb the steps to stand behind the pulpit so I can start my final ministry of intercession. In a sense I am looking forward to just doing the ministry of prayer and then text messaging those I’m praying for (younger folks), letting them know I talked to God about them.
In my old age I want to still be effective, make an impact and be a blessing. I want to encourage others to keep going, that God likes them and He is for them. How about you? What do you do for the Kingdom now and what are your plans when you get that “crown of glory?”
He asked me to ask you that. —