When I started my first real job shortly after high school, I wanted to appear mature and capable of performing the work.
A full-page resume preceded me. I held several jobs since I was 15 and volunteered for other positions, as well. I wanted to assure my employer I was competent, capable and proven from the start. Looking back, that might have been more of a wish than a fact, but I was determined to begin on the right foot.
I felt older and more mature than other kids. I have an older sister, but in my mind, I was the older soul. We’ve all heard the saying, “He’s an old soul.” I am sure that was describing my younger self.
On the other hand, my husband while in his 60s felt like he was still in his 20s. I cannot relate because in my 20s, I was mentally in my 50s. I even wore glasses at one job to make me appear older and, in turn, to glean some respect for my work.
It seems logical that at some point, the two should meet – my physical self and my old soul. I wasn’t informed of that meeting date, which obviously happened without my consent or knowledge because here, I sit gray-headed wearing hearing aids.
Deafness, mostly because it is unseen, is an annoying handicap. Although I explain to people that I need to see their faces to hear them, it is natural that when a person points to something across the way, their head follows their pointing arm. Their words then go into the wind and not my ears, followed by words forever coming from my lips, “Pardon me, but I missed that.”
Still, I must say the Lord is faithful and good to me, having given me marvelous friends that act as if accommodating me is no problem.
During the pandemic's isolation, they were willing to visit on nice days and sit across the porch from me, and we would have lovely conversations without masks. The breezes would blow, and we felt safe. Of course, it is possible that, at this point in life, most of my friends are also good old souls.
I love a good discussion, and more so a conversation where I learn from the other person. Sharing thoughts and ideas daily is something I have missed since retiring.
I love learning and sharing what I have learned, and thankfully, God has graciously placed others with similar desires in my life. I am thrilled to enjoy even a partial day's of a good conversation.
Possibly being an old soul also eased my move into retirement.
Even though I had to adjust my life to accommodate limited hearing, I am enjoying immensely the time available to learn at my leisure, cook meals without rushing, and share time with those I love. I can now meander my way to the boardwalk instead of speed walking. (To be honest speed walking probably is no longer a real option anyway).
Some Bible verses I enjoy say that aging well appears to be a goal God set for us. “Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.” (Job 12:12) “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is obtained by following a righteous path.” (Prov. 16:31).
I pray I am not trying to justify my sagging jowls and graying hair, but instead that I am living what these verses imply, that a life lived with and before a Holy God, in a manner worthy to be called an heir with Christ, has allowed me to be thriving in a life lived well for God.
My God is my provider in all things. He gives me wisdom as I need it and peace when I am edgy. He doles patience when I am jumping out of my skin in a noisy room. He is a great God, and I am blessed.
My entire life, I have gravitated to those older than me that seem to have that wisdom, knowledge, and life experience that they wear like comfortable, old sweaters. I want to be that way. I want to know my God so well that living my life on His terms in my golden years feels cozy and comfortable.
To be warmed by the knowledge that the life I live now is the life He planned for me and that it will be completed in His good timing. What a comfort - something like sitting beside a warm fire in October.
I pray that many others will want to join me in this quest to know God well, trusting Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins and now lives to give the Father glory.
Recently, I read an article and laughed at the title, “Old Coots Giving Advice.” Older men and women meet at the Ventnor’s Farmer Market under this banner, giving free advice to anyone who wants to stop by. Perhaps we should be bringing similarly active groups to our churches to provide the wisdom of God’s words.
Those of us older in our souls and faith are called to share our God-given wisdom and mentor younger generations.
I pray those who have opted for church online will get back into the pews and attend fall activities that are starting in our churches because God’s children need each other. We need to share our lives – the good and bad – with others to help raise each generation well.
May God give us His wisdom and a way to share that wisdom with others this week.
ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City.