Word of caution and encouragement: I was talking to someone recently who said that the generations of people who are older were being put down and dissed by the newer and younger in her particular organization. The older ways being labeled antiquated and irrelevant, literally those that were top-level considered bereft of the “newer and faster and better” ways.
Be excessively cautious on that note to be quick to dismiss their worth and value, as to dishonor the Lord’s elders gone ahead of us is a risky move of complete and utter foolishness. We would not be here without them and building on the foundational blocks they built that were hot for their generation, the ideals they put into place to help progressive action take place for future generations to benefit, not to mention, that their actions actually are the inspiration for something new to be done to improve things – we, instead of disrespect, ought to hand them a hearty and huge thank you. Lift them up and sing their praises. Nothing is new under the sun, but instead things evolve (and no I don’t mean human bodies in evolution).
What I mean … technology advances, but it was for us to discover it as the Lord always had these things in mind and knew before we were even born what and where it all would happen. He chose whom He wanted in place for their time in the equation and none of it could survive or move forward without the other.
The other thing to remember … sometimes those outdated old folks will blow right passed an ignorant and ungrateful generation and do things the younger would never dream of, right here and now. The Lord used Caleb in his 80s to fulfill a vision he had in his 40s and those very things can happen even today and still do … true wisdom comes from years of experience, hurdling over stumbling blocks, soaring past set backs, overcoming deep wounds and betrayals, financial losses, climbing the mountain tops of victory, and working in a spirit of gratitude. One never knows how the Lord may humble those who boast of being bigger and better than ever before, like the example set by those that boasted about the new production of the Titanic that “not even God could sink”. We all know how that ended.
Respect those that are older and wiser and more experienced and never put them on a shelf as unusable. Ask and glean, and put that independent and self-sufficient attitude to rest. If anything, make someone who has gone before you a pertinent and very real part of your prayer team, a member of your advice counsel, and perhaps put their calloused and willing hands to work with you rather than leaving them in the dust with ingratitude. Our elders deserve to be treated with the respect they have earned, just as we ourselves will wish to be respected when it’s out turn.
Pictured above: Shirley and Marvin Johns, grandparents to the author.