How odd it was to be on the receiving end of a request for guidance! I always sought answers and guidance from elders. Recently I was asked for advice. Perhaps the inquisitor was drawn to the growing influx of gray hair I seem to be noticing in the mirror. (Doesn’t gray hair imply wisdom?) Am I really old enough to provide advice? Have I really learned enough over the years to call it wisdom? Are my conclusions sound enough to be trusted?
The above realizations and questions thrust me back into the past, back to a day when I was teeming with uncertainty and insecurity. Who was I – no, who am I? – to offer advice? My actions and my decisions over the years have not been all that remarkable. Nor have they been even necessarily admirable. And yet, muffled at first, I could hear a tiny little voice that was becoming clearer as it came nearer the surface. Now it was shouting. I could hear it clearly: I HAVE learned certain things!
I’ve found that there are people I can trust, and others that I cannot trust. I now know the person I want to be. I recognize that some things are worth fighting for, and others are not. I’ve learned that what really matters is not what others think, but what I think and believe. Are the choices I’ve made healthy and valuable choices for me? How do I answer God when He asks why I made those choices?
It isn’t anything that happened at any one time, or something I was even conscious of as it happened. Sometimes one simply doesn’t notice. All I know is that, somewhere in time, somewhere over time, I learned who I am. I like me. There are some things and some people for which I no longer have patience. I have hopes and dreams and I hope there is a legacy that I will leave behind.
Perhaps I have learned something over the years. Though I would not lay claim to being the wisest person who ever lived, I hope that I have gleaned enough knowledge on the Pathway of Life to be able to share my conclusions and experiences with the next person who wants to know about them. It is a privilege to be asked for advice. I will honor that gift when it is again given to me. I will share what I have learned…and I pray that the words I will use and the experiences I will talk about will be the right ones to hear for the person asking.
We all walk our own Pathways of Life. We all learn, but at our own pace. One day you will awake and realize that you turned out to be the very person you always hoped you would become. Be proud. It is then that you will realize you have arrived on the doorstep of Wisdom.