The wisdom of old age

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “How to inhabit time”
Our Bible verse for today: “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: For learning wisdom and discipline; for understanding insightful sayings; for receiving prudent instruction in righteousness, justice and integrity …” Proverbs 1:2-3 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The wisdom of old age”
One of the marks of a life lived well is that in old age a person has developed a lifetime of wisdom. Also, as the years have passed, a wise person has learned to settle down, relax a little, and hopefully more fully enjoy the gift of time God gives to us each day of our lives.
The books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes were written by Solomon, probably in his old age, and they reflect a lifetime of hard-earned wisdom. When it comes to our theme of how to inhabit time and to do it well, there’s a lot we can learn from older folks.
The other day I came across a very old prayer written by a Mother Superior (the senior nun in a convent). This appeared in her journal. It’s a reflection on the aging process and on the kind of old woman she hoped she was in the process of becoming. I love her insight into human nature and the aging process, and I especially enjoy the sly sense of self-deprecating humor she expresses:
“Lord, thou knowest better than I know myself that I am growing old, and will some day be old. Keep me from getting talkative, and particularly from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to try to straighten out everybody’s affairs. Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details – give me wings to get to the point.

I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of others’ pains. Help me to endure them with patience. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains – they are increasing and my love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I may be mistaken. Keep me reasonably sweet; I do not want to be a saint – some of them are so hard to live with – but a sour old woman is one of the crowning works of the devil.
Make me thoughtful, but not moody; helpful, but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom (said with tongue firmly in cheek), it seems a pity not to use it all – but thou knowest, Lord, that I want to have a few friends left at the end.”

And all God’s people said … “Amen!”
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2023 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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