Archives For wisdom

Modern Day Prophets…

November 23, 2014

“Why does Jesus want us to talk to him if he never talks back to us?”…

May we empower, listen, learn and be led by this tribe of prophets. Maybe, just maybe, they will show us once again what it looks like to tangibly love God and neighbor

SOURCE:  Girls: The Hope of the Future | Jon Huckins | Red Letter Christians.

The quote above came from a four-year old daughter of the author of the article. The article was mainly about the most recent announcement of a young Pakistani girl receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace. Jon Huckins thinks maybe she is a modern-day prophet who just might drag the future church into more actions and less doctrine. He holds hope for that and so do I.

Kids just don’t seem to know what is an “appropriate” question to ask. Earnest curiosity has not yet been driven out of them.  They have not yet been drummed with a strict religious doctrine that says you must believe things without question. To say that Jesus never talks to us is heresy in most Christian bodies.  But I know that I too frequently ask the same question and so did Mother Teresa during her long life of servitude to others.

We all think we would like for Jesus to come to us directly and talk to us but do we really?

Some people in many different religious circles have very different definitions of what a prophet is. Some think that prophesy ended when King Constantine put together our biblical text or maybe even before Jesus. To say that anyone who has come around since then is a prophet is simple nonsense to them But as usual I kind of have a different take on that.

Lets look at a simple non-sectarian definition of prophet:

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If a prophet is “an authoritative person who divines the future” then there can certainly be prophets around us today. Even the second definition does not preclude that possibility. You could say that anyone who interprets the will of God is a prophet, even me!!

I kind of think that anyone who tries to show us a better way to God is worthy of the moniker of prophet and that certainly should include all of us.

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WisdomI have been in a philosophical mode lately and one of the things on my mind is the fact that in at least the last twenty years or so we just can’t seem to be able to learn from others mistakes. We seem to be locked in a mode of doing the same stupid thing over and over again. Too bad we don’t have a book with all the answers. But, of course, it would have to now be an e-book and have a robust search widget. People just don’t have the patience anymore to actually read a whole book.

One of the reasons for continually making the same mistakes is that wisdom just seems to be a forgotten thing now days. All of us old people who are looking back realize that when we were young we thought we knew it all but as we aged we realized that was far from the truth.  We learned many many lessons in life that, if we had that knowledge earlier, would have caused us to make different decisions.  That is called learning from our mistakes….

It is one thing to learn from our own mistakes but even more useful is to learn from other’s mistakes so that we don’t have to repeat the same errors in judgment. The basic problem with learning from history is that people just don’t seem to value the wisdom that comes with age anymore.  Most young people today see old people as those who lived in the dark ages before the Internet, cell phones, and instant communications. They simply can’t fathom that we might just have something to teach them about life. That we might just have some answers to their current queries.

It takes wisdom to realize that, yes the tools each generation uses continues to change but the basic questions of life remain the same. Here I am preaching about wisdom when I know that I too didn’t put much value on the wisdom of my elders. As a result I’m sure I made many mistakes in life that could have been avoided if only I had asked.  None of us have a book of answers but many of us have answers that could be put in the book for others to learn…..

Should we still have ambition in our senior years or is this just a time to give that up?  That is a question that has been dogging me lately. My wife, for the most part, has not had much ambition, at least by my standards, for the last twenty-five years. She is totally content to live her daily life in exactly the same very passive manner day after day. She does not see the need or desire to become involved in much of anything; she does not dream of things outside her usual daily existence.  I on the other hand can’t seem to shake still wanting to do things that make a difference in my life. She tells me I am getting weird when I mention such things.

Just what is ambition? Here is what the dictionary says it is:

Am·bi·tion   [am-bish-uhn]  Show IPA

noun

1. an earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor,fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment

2. the object, state, or result desired or sought after.

3. desire for work or activity; energy.

verb (used with object)
4. to seek after earnestly; aspire to.

I want to have a reason for my life even, or maybe particularly, in my senior years. I am just not satisfied with lying back and letting life flow past me waiting for the end. I guess this goes back to one of Will Roger’s quotes that I posted about recently and that is success is being satisfied with your life.  Maybe I still have ambition because I am just not satisfied with what I have accomplished so far.

I realize that There are things that I have discovered in my senior years that I wish I had known much earlier in life. It probably would have changed my life path in significant ways. Too bad we can’t carry this life’s experiences and knowledge into the next one. That is assuming the a next life actually exists.

Does there come a time when ambition must go by the wayside? I just don’t know the answer to that question but I personally don’t think I will ever give up aspiring to new challenges in my life.

“You end up as you deserve. In old age you must put up with the face, the friends, the health, and the children you have earned.  — Fay Weldon

The quote here could be paraphrased as “You get what you deserve..” and there is certainly some wisdom to those words. When you start approaching the end of your life and aren’t all of us doing that all the time then you end up living with the consequences of your past experiences.  Lets start out at the back end of this quote and work from there. Continue Reading…

A Re-Purposed Category…

April 19, 2012

I have been doing some investigating of what I have been posting lately and decided to re-purpose one of the blog categories.  Instead of Seniors Only you will now find Wisdom of..

I have come to realize that I really don’t have a lot of advice for other senior citizens about how to live their lives. I’m pretty much muddling along like everyone else, so I will leave the advice stuff to some of my blog friends who are much better at it that I ever was. Instead I am going to use this new category to  generally talk about quotes from fellow senior citizens; all of them much more famous than I am ;).  Most of the quotes have one and maybe all three  of the following qualities.

  • lessons for life (ie. wisdom of the ages)
  •  at least some level of humor (which I can’t go a day without)
  •  irony  of growing older and supposedly wiser.

I have collected hundreds of these types of saying so I will drag out that file and dust it off. I will be leaving the archive “Seniors Only” stuff inside this new category so that they can be referenced in the future. Since the old and new category are somewhat related it makes sense to do this.

Lately my posts seem to stray into darker waters than I generally intend so this will be a way to shed some of the murkiness and add more laughter.   We all need more laughter in our lives especially during these times.

I hope you enjoy the change….

 

Great artists say that the most beautiful thing in the world is a baby. Well, the next is an old lady, for every wrinkle is a picture. – Will Rogers

I guess some people are just not historians, either at the personal level or otherwise. When they begin to see a wrinkle or two on their faces they rush to a plastic surgeon. For those less affluent they make a panic trip to the drug store for the latest anti-wrinkle cream. The latest reports show that in the U.S. we spend more than $10 billion per year for Botox and the like. So many just refuse to accept the beauty of a wrinkled face.

Like my grey hair I pride myself on all the wrinkles I have. I have earned every one during my years on this earth. They make it clear that I am not some youngster who is naive in the ways of the world. I have been around and my wrinkles show you that maybe you can learn a little from what I have to say. No, that is not a picture of me in the photo here. I am not nearly as good-looking as that fellow. 🙂

I don’t know when becoming a mature person went out of favor. I certainly looked up to my grandfather even though he passed when I was about ten years old. I certainly enjoy visiting him on his pig farm and listening to all the stories he had to tell. He had a belly laugh for every time he told me to go collect the eggs and  then watched the old rooster chase me around the chicken coup. He was quite a character who I really loved.

Some cultures still show total respect for their senior members. The elderly are considered the patriarch of the family and no important decisions are made without first referring with them. But it seems that in the U.S. we now consider our aged a liability instead of an asset of knowledge and wisdom. We lament about how they are sucking up all the healthcare dollars at the expense of the rest of us. They say that the money we paid into social security was no more than an ordinary tax so we shouldn’t expect to get any of it back now that we are aged. I don’t know what happened to create this rationalization?

Irregardless of how others think I revel in my experiences, wisdom and the wrinkles that the years have given me. I am no longer jerked about by the latest fad or whim. I continue to wear what I wore two decades ago in spite of the fact that it is no longer in fashion. I don’t waste time on things that I see no value in. Call me eccentric if you want; I really don’t care. But if you care to listen I do have a thing or two to say that might help you in your passage through life.

So, Will here is to you. You got it right again. But I think I will add us guys to your quote. There is beauty in every wrinkle and each one of them is a story.

But what do I know