Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community. Each category is further divided into areas important to you and your Christian faith including Bible study, daily devotions, marriage, parenting, movie reviews, music, news, and more.

Intersection of Life and Faith

<< HomeWord, with Jim Burns

HomeWord - June 16, 2008

  • 2008 Jun 16
  • COMMENTS

 


Wisdom of the Aged 
This devotional was written by Jim Burns

Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? Job 12:12

Too often, we relegate elderly folks to the corners of our society. They become marginalized most likely because they don’t have the health and energy to engage as much as they used to in our everyday activities. Yet, they hold a wealth of wisdom that they’ve gained throughout their lifetimes that we would be wise to tap into.

If we took the time to notice, we could discover that the senior segment of our population has a lot to offer. Recently, I had a chance to discuss this topic with a friend of mine, Dr. Kerry Burnight, who is an expert in the field of geriatrics. She told me some things that I had never realized about the elderly. One thing that I found particularly fascinating was that as people age, their brains change. Dr. Burnight explained that these changes bring about a great period of enhanced creativity, problem-solving, spirituality, and even humor. There is a reduction in the sense of ego as people age, which allows an opportunity to draw closer to loved ones and God. So, while the ability to “have” and “do” declines as people grow older, their sense of “being” is enlarged.

A friend of mine did an informal study of seventy- to ninety-year-olds. He asked what they would have done differently. In light of what Dr. Burnight told me, their top three answers make a lot of sense:

  1. Worry less. Eighty percent of the things we worry about will never happen. Ten percent of worries are of things we can’t do anything about, and only that final ten percent are valid worries.
  2. Enjoy family more. When it comes down to it, what really matters is our family relationships. The only thing that matters more is our relationship with God.
  3. Invest more time in things that matter eternally. It’s interesting that it sometimes takes until the end of our life to appreciate the eternal perspective. Maybe we could learn from our elder generation and begin the legacy process sooner.

It’s sad that so many of us don’t understand these key principles until our later years. The good news is that we don’t have to wait. We can work on these areas now to the benefit of ourselves and our families.

And, as we are able, let’s also try to take advantage of the treasures that are available to us through those who have already walked in our shoes: The wisdom of the aged.

To comment on today's devotional, click here.


       

GOING DEEPER:

1. Of the three top answers that elderly people said they would do differently, which do you feel you need to work on most? Why?

2. Identify an older person in your life that you might like to learn from. Contact this person in the coming week.

FURTHER READING:

Leviticus 19:32


HomeWord
Encouraging Parents…Building Families

Other FREE resources from HomeWord and Jim Burns:
-
7 Minutes to Being a Better Parent
-Download HomeWord's daily broadcast
-Get your toughest parenting questions answered
HomeWord provides bottom-shelf, real-life, practical resources ranging from 411 (information) and 911 (crisis resources) to help parents.

Archives

Follow Crosswalk.com