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Old So Fast, Smart So Slow

By Belinda

I was driving to a Christmas party yesterday morning. In the bright winter sunlight I stared at my hands on the steering wheel. Seriously, I thought, what has happened to these appendages at the end of my arms? They have turned into "old lady hands!" The skin has that shiny, slightly wrinkly look that tells me what my mind and body try to forget. My body is aging--okay, "I" am aging-- and there is no denying it! 

Later in the day as I puttered in the kitchen with friends, getting ready for another Christmas party while relating the story of my realization, my friend Magda tried to console me. "At least you don't have these brown age spots," she said, holding out one of her spot dotted hands.

I wryly held out one of my hands; the one with a big brown spot.

"And you know," I said, "it is too bad! I feel as though I'm only just getting some things right. It has taken me so long to learn the important things, and now I'm getting old!"

"Old so fast, smart so slow!" said Magda.

"That's it--exactly!" I said. I had never heard that expression before, but it hit the nail on the head perfectly--old so fast, smart so slow!

And all day today I've been thinking of that. Whatever time I have left, long or short, I don't want to waste it. Time is running out, even if you are young.

I am absolutely sure that God is not finished with the lessons I have yet to learn, but please God don't let them be repeats. Please let me apply the lessons learned so that I can be a better source of blessing to the people around me.

I do have hope. I saw the effects today of some hard won lessons. Someone grew a little taller because I resisted taking over quickly, and instead tried to infuse confidence--"You can do this." 

And I am learning to be a better teacher; showing, not telling so much--but I have far to go before I will feel happy with where I am. 

I feel like a senior on training wheels too much of the time!

I have often wondered why humans mature so slowly compared to other creatures who seem to get up and walk almost from birth, and are up and out of the nest in no time. We seem to need a lifetime to learn all that is important. Perhaps God slows us down in order to do so.

How about you? What lessons have you learned late in life that you wish you had learned earlier? Please tell me I'm not alone! :)


Marilyn said…
OH, I think there's a slew of things under the umbrella heading of "Things I Don't Need to Be." Giving up those identities that once seemed so important frees me up to fill the roles I am made for.
Belinda said…
A wonderful place to arrive at Marilyn! And how true!!
mercygraceword said…
Lessons about what and who truly matter that would cause pain and despair, were it not for the hope and redemption found in Jesus.
This post really resonated with me, right down to the age spots!
Have a wonderful day,

It has been hard for me to learn that people might care enough about me to care about how I feel. Believe it or not, I am good with disagreement, but I am horrible with conflict - when I am hurt or my emotions are involved, horrible. I'm learning to try to simply calmly state what my feelings are ... and surprise, people, who care about me, actually care.
Anonymous said…
I love that saying "Old So Fast, Smart So Slow". Hey - that is tombstone worthy - in keeping with the aging theme :-).

Lesson learned and still learning: to listen more and listen longer. I'm too quick to jump in and try and "problem solve" instead of listening the person out. I leap to the end instead of listening to the stuff in the middle - that is where the heart is, the feelings, and that is what needs to be heard the most. I'm not saying it is easy - but I wish I had learned this a lot sooner. I may have done a lot of "stuff", but I wonder how much of it was my efforts and not God's direction or plan. Life is a lesson. Thankfully God is a gracious teacher.
Belinda said…
Deborah, I thought I should have described my hands as having the sheen of onion skin! :) That's getting close to the full effect.:)

It's so good that old as we are getting, we at least are learning what and who really matter. Praise God that for the time we have left, we have that part right. Hugs to you.
Belinda said…
Dave, you are deeply cared about from this quarter and your feelings matter.

What a powerful lesson to learn--to just state your feelings. That takes courage that I admire!!
Belinda said…
Dear Anonymous, your lesson is one I too, am trying to be a good student of. I just watched the movie "One Thousand Words," a comedy with Eddie Murphy. It was funny, but also deadly serious in terms of the impact of our words and how hard it is to reign ourselves in. God be with you in your quest of becoming a Master Listener.
Brave Raven said…
Dr. Seuss tried to teach me a valuable lesson when I was little: "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." The wrinkles that have started around my eyes have been earned. They are indicators of lessons learned the hard way, battles won and lost. They are like diplomas of life experience on a wall.
Belinda said…
Dear Brave Raven, you are so wise. I am glad that you are so comfortable in your skin and with your wrinkles, although to me you look just beautiful.
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