Tuesday, November 13, 2007

growing older

Growing older has its pluses and minuses. Overall it seems like I have a much better perspective on life and more comfortable take on how to live and meet new challenges, though that doesn't mean I always do well in this in real life. I seem to be much more settled in my faith, while at the same time acknowledging that on a good number of issues I really have less certainty than I did in the past. But along with that a stronger dependence on God and interdependence on others especially those in Jesus.

Of course there is the downside. Losing the hair I used to like pretty well. Once in a while having a bad back. Seeing myself look my age, at least in my eyes (51). And realizing my days are more and more numbered.

This all reminds me of Moses' prayer in Psalm 90: "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Every day I see as a gift from God. I try more and more to use these days wisely. They are gifts and we're stewards of them. So I think I waste less time each day than I used to, at least in quality if not quantity. Though I still do waste plenty of time daily, I 'm sure- or at least water it down. Of course we should enjoy life and the good things God has given us. But at the same time, we need to live our lives with a sense of urgency and mission in Jesus. We want in Jesus to be faithful and really meet issues in our lives in a way which glorifies God in Christ. We want to be all that God would have us to be in this life in Jesus.

Oak trees, or as Isaiah says, "mighty oaks" do not grow overnight. It takes time and years. Of course we can't count on that time, but we're called to simply be those who are on that track of growth regardless of how long our time here will be.

One thing I'd tell any young person right now: Enjoy life, but don't live as if this day doesn't matter. It does before God. In Christ God wants us to see every day as a new event, even adventure, everything, including the seeming mundane, really mattering in God's eyes, so that it should in our own as well.

May we be those who are not only growing older, but growing towards maturity in Christ- really growing up in him.

10 comments:

Shlomo said...

B"H

Hey Ted,

Thanks for sharing this post, I really liked it. Lstely I've been thinking and reading a bit about the topic of "coolness." Rightly growing older fits right in with this idea. When I was growing up in the 60s the standard motto was, "Don't trust anyone over 30." They were considered "uncool." Now as I am in my mid-50s I am arguing that "coolness" needs to be redefined. Being older can mean posessing both experience and wisdom. It's not a given, but neither is it precluded. Age rather than youth has the possibility of learning via observation. What we do with what we have "seen" is vastly important, but youth haven't even been around long enough to "see" much.

Sorry for going on and on, but as I said, I really liked this post. Thanks again so much.

Blessings,

Shlomo

NaNcY said...

Flee the evil desires of youth,
and pursue righteousness,
faith, love and peace,
along with those
who call on the Lord
out of a pure heart.

2 Timothy 2:22

Charity Singleton said...

I like the dual idea from Psalm 139 that God has our days numbered, and yet in Psalm 90 Moses asks the Lord to teach us to number them. To see our days as the Lord does is indeed grace.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Shlomo,
Thanks so much for your commment and for what you're saying here.

Yes, it can be good to have been around for awhile and a wise young person will appreciate that and listen well (Proverbs).

I hope in my life that younger people will see and want to emulate what is good. Sometimes I just don't see why they'd want to do that since I know myself better than they do (in some ways, anyhow). But our lives as older people ought to show them what's really cool, in Jesus, for sure.

Thanks for your encouragement.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Thanks so much for the very appropriate and helpful quote of Scripture.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Charity,
Great point and one for me to ponder. To have our hearts and minds set according to God's heart and mind, in Jesus. A good aim, or goal, I would think.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Shlomo,
I much appreciated your post and tried to comment on it, but it wouldn't give me the word verification letters, and wouldn't accept my Xanga application and I don't have time to press on that for now. Just attempted to comment on this, and this crashed as well, so I'll try again.

here's my comment for your post "Monday, October 08, 2007
The On-Going Conversation About Race

Shlomo,
Great thoughts. Yes, I think you're right, and I like how you put it.

I too am out of the loop on this; what I catch is mostly spotty and mostly from NPR. but this would give an opportunity to get this out in the open.

Is there a book you'd recommend to help me understand this problem better? But I know the most important books we should be reading in a sense, are each other.

Thanks, brother.

Blessings,
Ted

Shlomo said...

B"H

Hey Ted,

Thanks for stopping by my site. I'm so sorry that you were unable to leave a comment there though. Pastor Chris Brooks has told me that he also had trouble using Xanga. I recently mentioned that I was thinking of making dual posts, both on Xanga as well as here in the Google/Blogger world. These type problems are the very reason that's leading me in that direction.

******************************

"Is there a book you'd recommend to help me understand this problem better?" Hmmm, I'm not quite sure what problem it is that you are referring to, but in regard to race relations in general, there are several books that I think are great for starters:

Winning the Race to Unity by Clarence Shuler

The Heart of Racial Justice by
Brenda Salter McNeil and Rick Richardson

Beyond Racial Gridlock by George Yancey

Living In Color by Randy Woodley

These books stand out above many others because they are written from a faith-based perspective. I have been studying race relations on and off ever since I was in High School, and I graduated in 1970. I have learned a lot from the various secular authors, but their greater strength is in making a critique rather than in offering a viable solution. The reason for that is simple. You can't establish a "brave new world" without first having "new people" or at least people with "new hearts" to populate it.
The born-again experience is what makes our message and mission unique from all other religions and philosophies.

You can read an account I wrote after attending the book release service for Dr. Brenda and Rev Rick's The Heart of Racial Justice on my site dated March 17, 2005.

I'd love to exchange more ideas with you if you are interested. Send me an e-mail and perhaps we can take this to the next level.

Peace and love in the Messiah Jesus,

Shlomo

Ps29v11@Yahoo.com

Ted M. Gossard said...

Shlomo,
So glad for your reply here, as I know that at times I'll leave a comment at a post and not necessarily go back to that post.

Actually I was planning on Saturday to try to crash into your blog. But Blogger is not a bad place to go or at least start. And I understand that just by being a part of Blogger where there's more bloggers, your potential for running into people might be higher.

I look forward to finding the books you suggest and reading them. I want to grow in my understanding of this area. And I look forward to our exchanges to come.

Thanks so much, brother.

Anonymous said...

B"H

Hi Ted,

Hmmm, it seems like you, or Blogger, has changed the settings here to a more restricted venue for those who leave comments. Arrgh. Oh well.

I was wondering if you had obtained any of those books I previously recommended to you, and if you were ready to offer any thoughts of your own yet. I'm looking forward to our interaction on this and related topics soon.

Blessings,

Shlomo