November 7, 2017

Weekly Reflection – Wisdom

Weekly Reflection – Wisdom

Wisdom: What We Thought Was Important, Wasn’t

The mother of my first wife, Patsy, turned 96 years of age this past month. She lives near us, and we help with her care. She has seen a lot of change in her life, from the depression of the 30’s, to World War II, to raising a family and then seeing her family die young. Her first daughter (my wife) died of cancer. Later, her surviving daughter tragically committed suicide. And more recently, her husband, Jim, died of Alzheimer’s disease.

I asked her a few years ago, “What one important thing have you learned in your 90+ years of life?” She thought for a moment and replied, “What we thought was important, wasn’t.” What wisdom! Later, I asked her a follow-up question: “What did you think was important, and what have you now discovered that is more important?” She replied that earlier, she had believed that money, clothes, a house, etc. were important. Now, the one important thing (even beyond family) is God and how we relate to our creator; and how we relate to our creator includes, as well, how we relate to one another.

Two of her three grandchildren were with us on a recent weekend to celebrate her 96th birthday. The grand-daughter whose mother died of cancer (my daughter, Julie) now signs off on every one of her emails with the same Bible verse “tag line.” This verse is underlined in a Bible her mother left on Julie’s bed just before she went into her last and fatal surgery. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6.) Now, that is wisdom worth basing one’s life on!  And it is important.

Chaplain Allen

Read the reflection, All Through the Night