With Age Comes Wisdom

My husband, Chris, turned 60 yesterday. When I was little, I calculated how old I’d be when we went into the new century, and 37 seemed pretty darn old to me back then. But 60? Well, that was downright ancient. This could be disconcerting on several levels—not the least of which is that I’m old enough to be married to a 60-year-old man. And let’s face it, even though there are more than a few years between us, I’m not that much younger than him. Fortunately, my perspective has been challenged over and over again since I was a child.

Age is relative. I’m a fan of old movies and 60’s-era sitcoms (Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke, Father Knows Best.) Middle age was portrayed by matronly-looking women and balding or gray-haired men. At Chris’s birthday party Saturday night, I heard several people pretend to console him by saying that 60 is the new 40. But there’s truth to that—especially where my physically fit, non-graying husband is concerned. In that day and age, 60-year-olds were retiring, and more often than not, living out the next ten or fifteen years settling into old age.

Last week, Chris completed a course to learn a new chiropractic technique—one that will challenge his mind. It’s given him a new passion for his career and will allow him to work until he chooses to do otherwise. Knowing my husband, that could be a good twenty years or so. He strives to grow in his walk with Christ, grow as a husband and friend, grow as a mentor for younger men. I think that’s the key right there—the desire to grow and not settle in life.

When my grandfather retired at 62, he didn’t settle for old age, either. He bought fourteen acres above Placerville with a pear orchard and planted a huge garden. He chopped his own firewood until he was 85 and continued to play piano in his band until his hearing loss made it impossible to play by ear an longer. He was married to my grandmother for 62 years, and when she passed away, he married again—another 15 years before his death at the age of 100. He wasn’t sick, he said he was just tired and ready to go “home.” He died in his sleep in his own bed.

But beyond the new trend to be healthy and active in the later years, there’s something to be said for advancing age. Wisdom. When I think about myself at age 30, or even 40, I think about the foolish choices I made, the selfish attitude I held onto, and the inability to see Truth when it was staring me in the face. Each year brings with it a growing appreciation for the blessings with which God’s showered me, the importance of relationships with family and friends, and the desire to give back in order to glorify Him. And I’ve seen this played out in my husband’s life day in and day out. He is my mentor and my hero. It is through our relationship and taking part in his life, that I am learning to be what it is God calls me to be.

If we get caught up in what, by worldly standards, is the downside of getting older (more aches, pains and wrinkles) rather than embrace the benefits, then we risk settling for mediocrity in what should be the most exciting years of our lives.

“For wisdom is better than rubies,
And all the things one desires cannot be compared with her.”
Proverbs 8:11

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *