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Older and Wiser

I recently read an interesting article about “The Science of Older and Wise.” What was glaringly absent from this article was the biblical perspective on wisdom but nonetheless, Phyllis Korkki the author, makes some good points that include the following:

1. Wisdom consists of three key components — cognition, reflection and compassion.

“Older people have much more information in their brains than younger ones, so retrieving it naturally takes longer. It stands to reason that the more information that people have in their brains, the more they can detect familiar patterns that form the basis for wise behaviour and decisions. It takes time to gain insights and perspectives (reflective dimension) and when people are older, they can use those insights to understand and help others. (the compassionate dimension.”)

I never thought of aging like this but I like where the idea is going.

The author quotes Isabella S. Bick, a psychotherapist who makes a great point — An acceptance of aging is necessary for growth, but “it’s not a resigned acceptance; it’s an embracing acceptance.”

What a great thought.

I’m asking myself, “How does an embracing acceptance flesh itself out on a day-to-day basis,  as opposed to a resigned acceptance?”

Writer, Victoria Erickson says it well —  “I love getting older. My understanding deepens. I can see what connects. I can weave stories of experience and apply them. I can integrate the lessons. Things simply become more and more fascinating. Beauty reveals itself in thousands of forms.”

That’s more like it. THAT’S an embracing acceptance.

I remember studying Erikson’s theory of human development many times in my own educational journey and during my tutoring experiences, but I didn’t know that when the Erik and his wife, Joan reached old age, they added a ninth stage of development in which wisdom plays a crucial role. “They depict an old age in which one has enough conviction in one’s own completeness to ward off the despair that gradual physical disintegration can too easily bring.”

Interesting perspective. This is where the biblical concept of wisdom really becomes applicable.

Our physical bodies are definitely slowing down . . .

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 1 Corinthians 4.16

but I am not complete in myself — I am complete in Christ.

In Christ, you have been brought to fulness. He is the head over every power and authority. Colossians 2.10

There is embracing acceptance of the aging process, greater understanding of and desire for the Holy Spirit’s empowerment and increasing wisdom because I believe in a powerful and loving God, Who weaves all of life lessons together and creates a tapestry of a life well lived for His glory.

What’s my part? As I get older, there is more intention in my days, more releasing of that which does not matter, greater peace in my thinking and softer love in my relating to others . . . all because of Jesus.

There is no despair. There is only hope.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.                  Hebrews 10.23 NIV

 

2 Comments

  1. Barb Smith

    Hi Diane,
    Thank you again for addressing relavent issues of life. You have helped me to understand the transition into the golden years. However, I never thought I would be ” one of them”! What a shocker!!

    I can identify with every point you made, but like you, it’s awesome to know that this is also in God’s perfect plan and purposes for us, through His power in us, to be used to enlighten the next generation! Of course , in the process we are enjoying all the blessings He gives us on a daily basis. Getting older isn’t for sissies, but we still can smile, being renewed day by day!

    Love,
    Barb

  2. Now THAT’S encouraging!

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