Monday, February 02, 2009

Age and Beauty - Feb 2

This layoff has given me a chance to think aloud and record it for posterity. I'm not a morning person (as I yawn), I always do my best thinking mid-day. Under normal circumstances I'd be at work, the 'eureka' moment would pass and I'd be too tired to post in the evening. Flashes of brilliance tend to be just that.

Youth is Wasted on the Young

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:29-31)

I think when you get older things tend to get a little more compressed. Both time and money are in short supply so there's a greater sense of urgency. I notice as I get older that I'm a little more bullish in my behaviour. In our youth, truth is many shades of grey. As we age truth and lies separate themselves into black and white. It's not that we're becoming intolerant, it's more the case that we want to hear the pure undiluted truth and be on our way. No longer do we listen in wide-eyed wonder at every single conspiracy theory! When you're young you feel you have all the time in the world to properly disseminate all you've learned. As we age, we become cognizant of a narrowing of that window. The luxury with which we formerly regarded our life is gone.

A Twenty One Year-Old With 17 Years Experience

I really believe I have a huge advantage when it comes to facing the competition for jobs. What do young people know about God, human nature and politics? I'd venture to say very little. I'm more passionate and driven now than I was ten or fifteen years ago. I'm old enough to know better but still young enough to apply myself. Think about it: What 18 year-old upon high school graduation knows what they want to do with their life? Does a single-digit percentile sound right to you? You'd have to be an exceptionally driven person (or have highly driven parents) to know exactly what you want. I remember in my youth when I wanted to be a musician because I enjoyed playing the drums. Drove the music teacher crazy! Yet bridging that chasm between a high school drummer and a professional musician was one that I stood no chance of making.

Knowing When to Stop and Listen and When to Move

Sir Isaac Newton knew a thing or two about momentum. An object at rest tends to stay at rest, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. So it is in our personal lives. If we are constantly on the move, we lose control and crash. If we stay still for a prolonged period opportunities can pass us by. It's a delicate balance that takes a great deal of experience (trial and error) to conquer. For most of His life Jesus lived the life of an ordinary man. When He turned thirty - the age when a Jewish male was allowed to claim rabbi status - He shook the world with His teachings. I had a meeting this morning with a young woman who was attempting to advize me. Two lessons for me were learned:

1) While some advice is good, not all advice is of value.

2) Most (if not all) advice comes with it's own unique set of personal and ideological baggage.

Endless advice confuses us. So must stop, reassess our progress and make a decision. No-one wants to make good progress in the wrong direction. A young person may make a serious life-decision on a whim. When we're older we realize how much little time we have for such whimsy. Age and experience thankfully dulls such irrational exuberance.

Instinct Versus Faith

Truth be told, I'm not 100% of we're I'm headed either. I do have an idea, even if it's still in the formative stage. People may say, 'Go with your gut instinct'. I dare say that's terrible advice. God wants nothing but the best for us. He will not direct us to plans that will hurt or destroy. Yet do we truly rejoice in His paths? A person who loves and trusts in God cannot fail. I find myself walking this path of faith with no clear idea how long this journey will take. Yet I find myself rejoicing nonetheless. God knows me by my name and counts the very hairs on my head. I am one of His, possessing an eternal bond that cannot be broken. Praise be to Him!

Johnny Cash

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