“Listen to your elders. Not because they’re more right—but because they’re more experienced at being wrong.”
~ Steve Richards, Reader’s Digest
Oh, that we could have wisdom while we’re still youngsters…but very few of us are born so gifted. The next best thing is to be accompanied by wise elders early on, and throughout life’s journey. But there seems a shortage of such folk; most young people gravitate to their peers’ values and philosophy, as well as music and fashion.
How I wish I’d had wise elders to guide me in my youth…how I lament not grasping whatever scraps of wisdom were tossed along my path. I wasn’t raised on the Bible and by the time I read it, the Book of Proverbs’ instruction was too late, regarding many points. The words sounded harsh, punishing—which was how I viewed God for years. I didn’t realize till decades later how much He loves people, cares deeply about our well-being here and now—not just for Eternity; that His prohibitions are for the benefit of our bodies/minds/hearts, as well as souls. I wish I’d been smarter, wiser—that I’d had good teachers, true examples of Him.
A pastor I know of put it so well, when he shared about sitting down with his adolescent son for “a talk”. He told the boy about bad things he’d done when he was young, how he’d strayed far off the “narrow way” taught in the Bible. What moved me was his manner and reasoning; it was a heartfelt plea: “I want you to hear and BELIEVE what I’m saying…because I love you so much, and don’t want you to suffer the painful consequences of making wrong choices, the way I did”. His young son, apparently gifted with sufficient wisdom, responded, “I will believe you, Dad”.
It’s unrealistic to suggest we can spare the next generations ALL mistakes in judgment, and the consequences of mistakes which can leave lifelong scars. But maybe we could make time and intentional efforts to foster trusting relationships with children who share our lives—and be brave enough to be honest about things we’re ashamed to have said and done, words and deeds which left wounds with a ripple-effect that only God can sort out and heal.
We desire to leave our young a rich legacy—one of pride, full of goodness. I know too well that regrets and remorse make for a terrible inheritance. The Book of Proverbs is God’s Wisdom—whether we heed, or ignore, Him determines our course and quality of life.
Blessings to you all.
©Sandal Teaberry, 2018 ~ All rights reserved.