Am I getting old?

John StromanI remember when my father-in-law was alive.  His name was John.  But he was known to us as “Grandaddy”.  He was a great man.  He was a smart man.  Better yet, he was a wise man.

I have only recently lived anywhere close to where my own father lives.  And we have lived close to my father-in-law for many years, so I have often gone to my father-in-law with questions that a young husband or father would normally take to his own father.  John was older.  John was wiser.  — I think those two things just might go hand-in-hand.

I noticed several years ago that some younger men were starting to come to me for advice from time to time.  Some of them just wanted to bounce their ideas off of someone.  It sort of just began happening over time.  I didn’t seek it out.  It just started occurring.   This is a troubling realization!

Then it hit me.  They were looking to me for advice.  They were looking to me for wisdom.

I don’t feel qualified.  And I don’t feel worthy.  Am I getting old?

I wonder how Grandaddy felt when I used to go to him for advice?

So here is the leadership principle.  Wisdom comes with age.  I don’t think that age always comes with wisdom.  I have known many folks who were not old, yet they were wise.  I have a good friend who recently offered his advice to another friend who has a son who is coming of age and entering early manhood.  His advice to my friend included the following quote.  I am not sure who originally said it.  So if you do know, leave a comment and let us know.

“Smart people learn from their own mistakes but wise people learn from the mistakes of others.
Be humble enough to become a wise man and learn all you can from others.”

My goal in life is to seek out the wise counsel of folks who have tread the same path that I am treading.  I am looking to add people to my circle of influence who have demonstrated that they have been willing to seek out someone wiser than they.

I want to be wise.  But, I also want to be a wisdom seeker.  Grandaddy is gone.  And I need to find some wiser (and probably older) men to help me.  I am thankful that my own father lives just down the road.  What about you?  Do you need someone to bounce an idea off of every once in a while?


7 Replies to “Am I getting old?”

  1. Thanks for sharing about John and the relationship you enjoyed with him. I have been blessed as well with people like yourself that have carved time out of their busy schedules to meet for a cup of coffee and open conversation. Bouncing ideas off of wise people is a good way to confirm what God may be saying to you. It’s also a good way to be rescued from something that was doomed for failure when you couldn’t hear your clue phone ringing. As I was reading your post the relationship Moses had with his father-in-law, Jethro, came to mind. Moses needed someone to approach him with counsel on how to avoid burnout from trying to do everything by himself. Jethro shared a wonderful leadership principle that is still being utilized today of delegated authority. Moses could have blown it off, but there was a respect already established with his wife’s father which caused him to listen and put feet to the wise counsel. Putting feet to wise counsel is where the rubber meets the road.

    1. We had a very special relationship. And I will always treasure the time that I spent with him and the investment he made in my life. And he did invest a lot! I am not sure he got a very good return on his investment, but . . .

      I hope that young husbands and young fathers can locate someone that they value and admire and seek their wise counsel. Many times we find ourselves busy and isolated. I am pretty sure that God intended us to draw upon the advise and experience of those who have gone on before us.

      1. I believe that if you asked John about that return on his investment his response would surprise you. He would be pleased and proud of the body of work you are contributing on such a regular basis. Most importantly though is that through it, people are learning timeless concepts that can change their lives and the lives of those they come into contact with. Yes, John was quite a man, a man we dearly miss.

  2. Kevin, Very good article.
    I have very fond memories of asking your father-in-law for Godly council.
    You article drives my memory back to James 1:2-5.
    Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance MUST finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God for it.
    Now, who does NOT want wisdom to help guide them under trials? What a refreshing thought to know that to possess Godly wisdom takes only a mere act of us realizing our own weakness. It is through our weakness that we are made strong.

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