I am trained to listen for themes in the lives of others, places God may be working, pockets of the heart they may be unaware of.
when themes start occurring in my own life, I try to pay attention, to ask God if He is doing a work, teaching a lesson, preparing my heart for something.
so when a number of conversations lately have included a Titus 2 thread, I have been listening and pondering. several friends from different parts of life and not known to each other, have been processing lessons learned from the older women in their lives. some lessons good and godly. some showing a lack of biblical response to life. others reflecting on lives well-lived for Christ, providing inspiration and encouragement to those coming behind. a few wistful for what they’d hoped would be a Christ-like attitude and example, only to have that hope dashed and the opposite be reality.
come, let us walk together as we walk with Jesus…
is this not to what Paul aspired?
put away anger
roots of bitterness
and instead walk in compassion
when we walk this way, Christ is honored and allowed to do His work in our lives.
as we learn to walk in these new attitudes, looking at the example of others is only natural. there are innate questions of how to work out a new life while still living in our sin-bound bodies of earth.
there is an assumption, an expectation, really, that those older than us should be that example. it is a biblical idea and ideal. but it is not always reality.
those older than us may not necessarily be “older” in faith. each of us have our own faith walk, a journey and relationship with Christ that is uniquely our own. that others might learn anything from us is sobering and an amazing testimony to God’s great grace. calendar age may have little to do with faith age. some people get stuck somewhere in life have a texture of immaturity to them. those of older faith age might be younger than us, the rare spiritual “old soul” who lives in deep relationship with Christ. we can learn from all walks, learn about the working out of Christlikeness, and what is does not look like, of what is an attractive faith and what is not.
these thoughts, as they run through my head and seek expression, turn me again, as so often happens, to the Breastplate of St. Patrick, the prayer of St. Francis, and essentially to the root of Christianity: let me be in such deep relationship with Christ that when others see me, they see Him.
we are all older than another. and we are all younger. brought full circle, this begs that we never stop learning and learn to live in harmony with Christ, aware of the footprints we leave. that awareness should not be a burden, but instead a mirror to our lives and hearts. are we pointing others to Him? do they see Him when they look at us?
let us walk together and live in community centered around Him.