Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | July 6, 2018

The View from the Top

New York City from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building http://www.esbnyc.com/explore/top-deck-102nd-floor

The Higher Floors Usually have the Best Views

It is no surprise to discover the higher you go the better the view; distractions and obstacles dwindle into insignificance as you get higher and higher; you can see farther and farther as the vista opens up before you. It should be obvious the potential view from the 85th floor would be broader in scope than the view from the floors below.

I insert the word “potential” as the distance one can see is dependent on the direction faced; if one is looking inward the nearest wall may be the only thing in view but if one is looking outward the horizon may fade into a hazy distance.

It has occurred to me there is a parallel between elevation and age; it seems the older I get my view of the world and life in the world is undergoing sweeping changes. I have mentioned before in “A Surprising Discovery,” how my perceptions of life were being changed by age; while the essay was written just over two years ago the rate of change has not really slowed so far.

I’ve never visited the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building but I have visited other famous high points and noticed how often there seem to be powerful binoculars and guide maps to help one identify notable sights that can be seen. Thinking again on the parallel between elevation and age, God in his grace, mercy and love has provided a guide-book to life called the Bible which is available to all who will use it as a guide to the panorama of life that is spread out before us by the world in which we live.

I have found the process of aging has broadened my perspective on life and opened up wide vistas which have solidly reconfirmed the value of the guidance provided by the Bible.

On Being Young

I have an advantage which the young are not yet able to share; I have experienced every age between 1 and 85 one year at a time: “been there, done that, got the T-shirt” as the expression goes. I have countless memories of childhood and beyond which are available for recall at any time. I can remember how I felt as a child, as a teenager, as a young adult, as a middle age adult and can sympathize with those who are living in those seasons of their lives.

I remember the priorities and pressures I felt as a young man and know how powerful they were to me at the time; it was difficult to look past them and glimpse the bigger picture of life that was obscured by their demands yet sometimes life requires we look at the wall and not the horizon. Young people are faced with the need of making many decisions which can profoundly impact the balance of their lives; wise decisions at this point can pay great dividends later.

From the vantage point of hindsight I cannot overemphasize the importance of heeding God’s advice on life and living during this critical phase; the Bible is a sure source of instruction on making the right decisions for the long-term.

On Being Old

I am completely at peace with being old; I know some seek to avoid acceptance of the reality of their age but I am not one of those. By God’s grace my wife and I enjoy reasonably good health although we do move a little slower these days. One of the advantages of being married for over 65 years is our ability to share our life experiences and fully relate to what the other one is feeling.

One thing I have discovered is how liberating old age can be; I have been freed from many of the pressures besetting the young and can accept and enjoy life as it has become. I have watched so many generations come and go I fully realize the transient nature of life and thank God for the opportunity he has given me to enjoy the years he has allotted to me. It is rather sobering to watch little babies you have bounced on your knee become grandparents.

I have read the term, “and it came to pass” occurs 1,265 times in the Bible; the years have shown me this is the normal pattern of life, everything on this earth comes to pass, from the largest to the smallest. Both institutions and individuals come and go with a regularity that is predictable and becomes even more obvious as one looks back over the years.

On Being Wise

While wisdom does not come automatically as one ages, age has the potential to help develop a wise perspective on life and living if one seeks to find it. I’m convinced the only wisdom that really counts is a spiritual awareness of God and his dominance over all of his creation. I deliberately choose to ignore the so-called wisdom of this world and delight in my ignorance of much of the worldly way of life.

I’m reminded of the famous quotation by Thomas Grey: “where ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.” Knowing too much of the world can be very depressing if care is not taken; it sometimes appears the world seeks out the ugly and seems to feature the bad things that happen, the evening news being a case in point.

The opportunity to enjoy one’s life is much greater if the Bible is consistently used as a guide; one thing age and experience has taught me is the validity of living life as God has instructed in his guidebook for humanity, the Bible. I’m particularly fond of the section in Philippians 4:4-9 where it is written:

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Be wise, rejoice in the Lord always!


Responses

  1. I find the same. There is little here to rejoice in and no one to believe in. Only God has wisdom. Thankfully, His Son left us some. I accept this as a positive to find joy, not a negative on my fellow man. John

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a blessing to know we can always rejoice in the Lord and love our fellow man with the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.

      Like

  2. Hallelujah and Praise God, How are you doing

    Yours faithfullyNoah

    Like


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