Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting Old?

I've been around long enough now that I am often seen as the voice of experience. I like that - most of the time. When you're a young preacher and you want people to take you serious, it's nice for folks to see you as "the voice of authority" - in matters of scripture, of course. Respect must be earned, so it's nice when you get it, but experience has taught me that people may respect you and what you say, but it may not influence them to change or correct a life that needs both. When they come to you and seek advice because they see you as wise, experienced, and understanding, it's a very different opportunity, and it seems to have more impact.
I don't know - I don't see myself as the wise old man that people make pilgrimages to visit or to just sit at my feet as one "who can give the secret of life." No, it's nothing like that, because I'm not THAT old! But, I do know that "through many struggles" the Lord helped me figure some things out. Things make sense to me - that didn't use to. I think I truly understand what God wants, and I am at peace in my relationship with Him. That's not a boast, because what keeps it in perspective is the realization that it took a lot of years. Maybe too many. It took a gracious and patient Father. Most of all - there is no sense of "arrival" but of journey, and a desire to help others who want it, learn what I learned a lot sooner than I did.
Yesterday I was thinking about aging. Not mine, but my grand children. They are getting older and, praise the Lord, they have an army of family and church family to support and guide them. They may not ever sit down next to Papa Root and say, "Papa, lay some wisdom on me!" But if they did, what would I tell them? Is there one jewel of wisdom that I'd like for them to know and learn above all others? Hey, no preacher ever has a one point sermon! I do, however, have one truth that I believe is the most important "road sign" on our journey of life, and it's especially important to a family like the Root's, who all know that we are major people pleasers. It's simple but powerful, if we realize the implications. Please God first! If we can learn to do that when we are with others, they will be a blessing rather than an excuse. When we learn to be driven by that when we are all alone, and there is no one there to impress or commend us, then - we really do have a relationship with God.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Certainly wise counsel! Thanks!