Friday, December 10, 2010


The problem with life is that when we are young, we are constantly needing to decide things. Should I do such-'n-such, or should I do something else? It was difficult enough when we were alone facing decisions, but the level of difficulty was greatly multiplied when in the company of others who were just as ignorant as we. First, we must be sure our decision is popular, as in "everyone else is doing it." Then, we have to figure the odds of our getting caught (come on, you know exactly what I mean). And finally, it has to be a little rebellious, because after all, the older generation is "stupid," right?

Of course, when we changed our status to "married," we not only had more serious decisions to make, we had to find some way to convince our mate. I have been married for forty-eight years, and if everyone's experience in marriage is like mine, getting the wife to agree on something may be life's greatest challenge. No longer is the popular, the reasonable, or the wise thing to do, necessarily the right thing to do in the eyes of a mate, who is still holding a grudge over the last "wise decision" which turned out differently than advertised. Just as it takes years to gain wisdom from one's own mistakes, it takes even more to convince a mate that you have any wisdom at all.

Then it happens, at least it did for me; I discovered that my wife also had wisdom! In fact, more often than not, her ideas demonstrated the prudence of caution. In my case, my wife is wired to take her time before doing anything, while I, on the other hand, tend to blindly leap into the abyss. It often takes her trying on a half dozen outfits before she finally decides what to wear to work, while I simply grab the closest shirt that doesn't smell.

If I were God, the next time I decided to create mankind, I would pre-program newborns with the wisdom needed to achieve the maximum out of life, by always making the right decisions. Then, if I decided to allow humans to become "foolish in their old age," at least the consequences of poor decisions would only last a short time. Someone once said, "It is a pity that beauty is wasted on the young." I think a better observation would be, "It is a pity that wisdom is wasted on the elderly." Just think of all the mistakes you made over the years; if you knew then what you know now, you would have never made them.

Obviously, wisdom is something to be cherished. But I have noticed that it is the product of stupidity. We all know that a wise man learns from his own mistakes, and while it would be ideal for wisdom to come from observing the mistakes of others, I don't recall meeting anyone that wise. Everyone I know makes stupid mistakes. However, there is hope for the Christian. Not only are our mistakes forgiven in Christ, but we have the absolute certainty that the "mind of Christ" we now possess, will one day totally rule our thoughts (1 Cor. 2:16; 1 Jn. 3:2). If I had it to do all over again, I might never have come to faith in Him. But, thank God we only go through this life once!

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