There was a phrase my parents would say when I was younger that aggravated me to no end.
“You’ll understand when you get older.”
And boy, were they right.
I am older now, and I finally understand. I understand that I was wrong to think I understood. My young mind could not comprehend all that my parents had experienced in their years on earth before me. There was a reason my mother did not want me to eat an entire bowl of cookie dough, why my father requested that my sisters and I not watch TV during the week, and why education was vital in our household.
My parents knew what I did not. They knew the benefit of attending church and serving three times a week. They knew the purpose behind wearing our Sunday best for the Lord, while all I desired was to wear jeans. They knew. God commanded them to bring us up in His training and instruction (Ephesians 6:4), and they did just that. He commanded my sisters and I to obey our parents (Ephesians 6:1), and well . . . we tried.
The Lord entrusted us to them, and He gave them the knowledge to raise us well. With age, comes wisdom, and they were wiser. Their roots ran deeper, their limbs stretched wider. Like a more-seasoned tree, they grew in the direction of the Son, extending more outwards than upwards. This grounded and outstretched posture allowed them to cast a wider net to consume more Light.
With the Lord by their side, my parents were fully prepared to take care and provide for us.
I look back at all the times my parents told me no. The times they did not feel inclined to explain themselves because they knew I would not understand. Had I known what I know now, I could have profited from their knowledge. Trusting their wisdom would have saved me a lot of energy and frustration.
This is why I understand the importance of the younger generation gleaning from the older generation. There is always room to grow, and I have learned the benefit of sitting still and listening to the lessons and stories they have to share. Their words have great meaning and often times provide comfort and a sense of peace. They remind us that what we are experiencing is normal and okay.
We do not always know the path we should take, so it is wise to find someone who has walked it before us. Let us be like Elisha gleaning from his mentor, Elijah. Let us be like Paul accompanying Barnabas. Let us be like the disciples who followed Christ. Let us seek wise counsel, gradually apply all the knowledge and wisdom we have gathered to our lives, and walk in it.
I ask the Lord to do a work in us. I pray the wisdom of our parents, elders, and those Christian leaders that have blazed the trail before us will seep into our lives. I pray the Lord will draw connections between their wisdom and our experiences, then put us in positions to grow closer to Him.
I ask these things in Jesus’ Name.