17 May 2008

It's all part of growing up

Today is my birthday. I am 51. I have officially lived longer than my mother. I have survived several major earthquakes, three fires, five floods, uterine cancer, having my infant body burned by percolating coffee and a childhood from hell. I have been stalked by a madman, been asked to be interviewed for the Australian version of 60 Minutes, received a bronze medal and helped foil a kidnap attempt of a celebrity. In my short 51 years, I have had an incredible life.

I was asked by a former student what advice I would give a 30 year old that I have come to value now that I am in my 50s. The list of things that I value now that I didn't value then and vice versa is huge. Since my current topic is discipline, I would have to say that I wish I had cultivated discipline at an earlier age. Much earlier than my 30s. I wish I had learned the difference between need and want sooner. I have tried too hard to fulfill wants as if they were needs. The want vacuum just moves, it doesn't get filled by things.

I value absolute truth. I would be less tolerant. I tolerated being used. I tolerated opinionated people foisting their subjective opinions on me as if they were objective standards. I tolerated going with the flow instead of taking a stand. I avoided confrontation, and now I know confrontation is one of the greatest gifts God has given us- it's just that we muck it up with our sinful agendas. I would have less fear of people and more fear of God. I would be more patient. I would be offended less and extend myself more often. I wish I had valued humility more than being right.

I would read, meditate on and memorize the Word more. I would call my sin what the bible calls it. Jesus provides a remedy for sin, but He is silent about 'mistakes'. I would advise young people to learn the difference between who you are and the choices you make. I value learning that people are more than their sin, they are souls in peril. I'd drill it in my head as soon as possible that flattery is abuse and that genuine heartfelt compassion can accompany the absolute rejection of someone's world view or lifestyle.

I am overwhelmed just thinking about the things I have learned. I wish there was a way of measuring how much more I will learn if I live another decade. Did you measure your height in a door jamb when you were growing up? Wouldn't it be nice to see your maturity and refinement in some sort of measurement? I imagine if we could quantify it or qualify it we could do more damage to the process.

What wisdom have you learned that you would pass on?

Proverbs 10:23
23 Doing wickedness is like sport to a fool; and {so is} wisdom to a man of understanding.


KP said...

Happy Birthday, Rosemarie and thank you for sharing some of the wisdom you've gained over years past. I hope you're enjoying this special day.

Grace Baptist Church, Somerset, KY said...

Rosemarie, Happy Birthday!!! See you tomorrow (d.v.)

Your Pastor, Bill

Carla said...

{{{{ rozie }}}}

51 years ago the Lord sent someone into the world that has been instrumental in my walk with Him, for the last couple of years.

I'm sure glad He sent you, and I'm sure grateful for you. I hope you had a super-fantastical-wonderful day yesterday.

Hobster said...

Happy Belated Birthday, sis. Many happy returns and God's richest blessings.

rosemarie said...

Thanks guys!