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! :)