We need Wisdom in every season of our mortal lives. Obviously, children don't have it. Life has only started to unfold; they lack the experience on which wisdom is based. They are too fresh, untried and unproven. Youth is in the experimental stage; life is being tested, knowledge accumulated. Wisdom? Not so much. They are still in process. In prime years wisdom and folly are being sorted out. Some make good choices; some foolish decisions have taken us on detours.
In advanced years? The mature, the elderly, the senior-aged are supposed to finally burst forth and flower in “the wisdom of Solomon”? That's the proverbial track. And we're all supposed to fall in line and happily benefit from their collected experience?
How about when the aged are foolish? The young don't want to profit from the experience of anyone else. They dig in their heels and insist on making their own mistakes. History cycles. That's just the way life is. Advice to the calendar-challenged? The hopefully wise mature ones should dispense their wisdom only when and if it is requested. Otherwise, let's zip the lips!
I'm one of those lifetime wisdom seekers. In the ups and downs of every season of my life I've occasionally dropped the ball or ran to the opposite goal post. But my overriding desire and trajectory has been to pursue the will and purposes of God, to choose and act wisely.
We all think we have plenty of time. In our earlier years, the days seem to stretch open-end and we don't think much about numbering our days. As the path of life narrows and remaining days can, all things considered, actually be numbered, I want to keep the pursuit for wisdom at the top of my list. The aging Moses reflected on this transient life in Psalm 90: “So teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom.”
SO I PUT ON MY RUNNING SHOES AND KEEP PURSUING WISDOM
Here's my personal check list:
God, grant me the wisdom of mature years to circumvent the foolishness of aging.
When You see me playing in the spiritual shallows, Lord, beckon me out of the wading pool into Your deep waters.
If I feel bogged down in meaningless routine, turn the plain water of my daily life into “the best wine saved until last.”
When I tend to resist change and settle in my comfort zone, grant me an open spirit and a growing, receptive mind.
If I’ve lost my get-up-and-go, show me how to “rise and take up my bed and walk.”
When my leaves are withered and dry, revive me to be “full of sap and very green.”
When my spiritual fruit is scanty and sour, show me how to “flourish like the palm tree.”
If the embers of my first love for You are growing cold, fan them into flame by Your Holy Spirit.
When the noise of my activity drowns out Your still small voice, quiet me to wait on You in contemplative silence.
If the soil of my life is depleted and lies fallow, break up the clods, supply fresh nutrients, and make straight my furrows.
When my prayers seem unanswered and my spirit is arid, open the floodgates to let Your Rivers of Living Water flow again.
Where my life is out of balance and I lose my footing, help me restore eternal priorities to keep from stumbling.
When my vision for Your Kingdom has grown dim, open my eyes to see again Your destiny for me.
If I’ve become slow of speech to declare Your message, open my lips to boldly proclaim Your Good News.
If I can't hear Your voice clearly, send Your Holy Spirit to be my hearing aid.
If my memory begin to slip, help me remember that You never leave me or forsake me.
When I’m weary from the length of life’s journey, draw me close to Your bosom to find comfort and rest.
If I’m laboring to bear scarcely 30-fold fruit, teach me to abide in You to effortlessly produce by Your wisdom 100-fold.
Where some good seed of Your Word still lies dormant as I advance in years, send the gentle latter rain of Your Spirit so I can reap an abundant late harvest.
When I am tired and lack motivation to press on, restore iron to my soul, strength to my weak knees and limp arms.
When I drag my feet to do Your will, energize me with the adrenalin of Your Holy Spirit.
When I’m short of breath from life’s fast pace, inflate my lungs with Your Breath of Life.
If I grip material possessions too tightly, teach me to hold loosely the things of this world.
If I open my mouth to speak foolish words, show me how to put a watch on my lips.
When I’m afraid of the darkness around me, take my hand to walk in Your Light.
When my emotions roller coaster out of control, teach me to set my affection on things above, not on things of earth.
When anxiety about the future threatens to overwhelm me, remind me of Your great faithfulness in years past.
If my appetite becomes jaded by the world’s junk food, give me Yourself as my Daily Bread.
When thoughts of my mortal end frighten me, remind me that You are preparing a Place for me in Your Father’s House.
When I think I’ve reached the limit of my endurance, help me persevere in Your strength to run the last mile Home.
(Excerpted from Leona Choy's book “STILL MORE: FLOURISHING ON MY SUMMIT”)
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