I really enjoy learning while listening to the older generation share their life experiences. Many times theyâ€™ve traveled the roads of life in ways that Iâ€™ve never thought of. When Iâ€™m around an older person I find myself digging around in their memory bank looking for treasures. Itâ€™s almost like discovering an old trunk tucked away in the attic. You canâ€™t wait to open it because even the meager findings become a treasure to you. There seems to be a story written in each item as to their failures and successes in life. Iâ€™m sure I learn more from their failures than I do their successes. I know how to succeedâ€”I just want to learn how to keep from failing.
Some time ago I went to see my ninety-one year old aunt who lives in a convalescent home. It wasnâ€™t long into the conversation before I asked the question,â€śIf you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?â€ť At first she didnâ€™t understand the question because she thought I was talking about her long wonderful life with my uncle.
After rephrasing the question she soon realized a trivial answer would not be sufficient for what she now believed to be a very important question. After a long silent period of deep thought and looking at the ceiling, she looked at me and said, â€śIâ€™ll have to get back to you on that one.â€ť
She and my uncle lived through some hard times over the years but never complained. Both had served God with all their hearts from a very early age.
I remember my aunt telling me the story of how, as a little girl, she would drive a team of horses pulling a wagon up and down the clay hills of East Texas, picking up little bare-footed kids for Sunday School and Church. That little Baptist church still stands there today tucked in the pine trees of deep East Texas. Next to the church is an old fashioned cemetery filled with saints of the past. One day she too will find her resting place there, next to her husband of some 60 years.
Perhaps itâ€™s impossible for a woman who spent her life loving the Lord and living by faith to answer such a question. Would answering a question like that mean that she would somehow have to go back and undo part of her life and take a different path? Who knows, maybe she wouldnâ€™t be the same woman today had she missed all the stretching experiences and deliverances of those difficult times.
It might seem foolish to ask such a question to a righteous saint of the Lord.
She and my uncle lived on the edge of their earning ability their entire life. Through faith in God they were able to be faithful in tithing and yet pay all their bills on timeâ€”while raising and educating two fine sons.
I drove away from the convalescent home that day wondering what her answer might be. However, Iâ€™m not sure I really want to know. Perhaps her greatest gift to me would be that of allowing me to walk her same path with the Lordâ€”expecting the same end result.
As a father, I stand ready for the next generation to go up to my attic and find the old trunk. Thereâ€™s excitement in discovering treasures. As a matter of fact, we should encourage the next generation to be treasure hunters.
Weâ€™re surrounded by treasure that is locked up in the minds of the elderly. Our only cost of digging it out is kindness. You told us that we were to â€śhonor our father and our motherâ€ť. You have given us many fathers and mothers who would be more than willing to share their treasures with us. I thank you Father for giving us a living treasure map that is easily found and followed. I pray, I too will be a treasure map for the up and coming treasure hunters.
Apostle John Dean Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved
Alliance International Ministries