November 30 I Monday
2 Peter 2
“Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am He, I am He who will sustain you.” —Isaiah 46:4
Imagine for a moment, your life is like the elevator of a tall tower where you can look out on the world below. As the elevator climbs the building, your perspective of the world constantly changes. The view from the first floor allows you to see the immediate area, but the higher you climb, the further you see. This is true of our experience of aging as well. As we grow older, we see and experience more, and this influences our perspective on everything. What was once a first-floor, limited knowledge of our immediate surroundings, becomes a top-floor, much wider perspective on people, events and life in general.
Winston Churchill summarized this idea when he said, “The further backward you look, the further forward you can see.” Churchill was referring to how historians could better understand the direction society was heading because they had studied past events and social movements, resulting in the current state of society. This is equally relevant to how our perspective on life changes as we age. The older we get, the more experience we have influencing how we think. Typically, this results in one of two dispositions. We either grow more bitter, angry and negative, or we grow more positive, joyful and kind. What determines which of the two we will become? Circumstances certainly will, but also our situation before God.
Our experiences have a profound influence on which way we go in life. Solomon, influenced by his many pagan wives, rejected God and grew cynical with age, but in the end, returned to God. We can easily grow bitter and cynical from mistakes we have made, but we can also choose to learn from them. Past bad judgments can become the catalyst for better judgment in the future.
Crucial to a loving, compassionate perspective on the world is a close relationship with God. As we experience His working in our lives, we grow deeper into the heart of God. We will see the world differently because we know God, and this will solidify the longer we walk with Him. Those who have been Christians for many years can likely relate experiences of God’s sustaining presence and the impact it has made on their lives.
Spiritual maturity has no correlation with age, other than longer life gives more opportunity to develop our relationship with God. While age does provide broader perspectives on life, true spiritual insight comes only from our experiences of God as we trust and depend on Him. This is what will allow us to see the world in the best way possible—from the perspective of our heavenly Father.
Prayer: Father God, help me to view the world as You see it. May I come to know You more, so I can approach the world with the same love and compassion as You have. Thank You, Father.