There is so much wisdom accumulated with age. I feel as though I should be wiser than I am at my ripe age of 25. I guess it is all quite relative though. I just listened to a podcast from Imago Dei last week and the speaker was a 92 year-old woman talking about her faith journey. I have always had a thing for old people. Well, let me rephrase that, I’ve had a thing for old people since I stopped having nightmares of elderly woman chasing me in the night, so probably since I was about fourteen. I love talking to old people. Also, I’m sure there are better terms or verbiage to classify this population, but I find the term “old people” endearing in its own way. Actually, I kind of like the phrase “seasoned people”, one who has lived many seasons…maybe I will use that. Anyway, back to my love of seasoned people, I love talking with them. I feel as though there is so much to be absorbed in every conversation. I also feel that when one has lived so many seasons, they realize their own wisdom and experience and wish to impart some of it to the world around them in direct ways through conversation or advice and indirect ways like the way they carry themselves or handle situations that come their way.
My favorite customers at the coffee shops I’ve worked in were always of the “seasoned” variety. They had an endless amount of stories to share and a love of sharing, which may or may not have been the most welcomed thing at 5am when my eyelids could barely be lifted and I could only hope to produce full sentences. Eyelids open or not, I loved hearing about their lives, their love stories, their travels, and the pearls they had picked up in the trials of life.
I always have my ears open for these pearls when I’m talking with seasoned people. They are privileged with perspective and the ability to look back on their life and see all the various ways that God worked in their lives, how certain decisions led to certain outcomes, how prayers were answered but maybe not in the way they had hoped. They can look back on their lives with different eyes. Maybe it’s those eyes that I crave, that perspective, a knowing that my life is on a path that will bring glory in the end.
This woman who spoke at Imago, who has seen 92 Winters and Springs, during her talk, in the most precious voice, said countless times throughout, “hang on” and “hang in there”. She talked about how the 20s and 30s can be a really tough time in our lives because by this time, we have had time to form expectations and dreams for what our lives would be and when we don’t see things turning out how we thought or we are faced with crisis or suffering, we begin to doubt and we begin to throw the idea around that we should give up and throw in the towel. “Hang on. Hang in there”, she says. You can’t see what God is doing, but you will. Hang on. In all of her words, I clung to those and will continue to cling to them. I will keep hanging on. And someday I will have the perspective and pearls to look back on my life and say I am so glad that I hung in there and kept holding on.
“Hang on. Hang in there.”