Roots and Wings


While I did not live on a farm, my roots go back to farm country in Orange County, New York. Digging DNA deeper, my sources of origin include the Netherlands, Ireland, England and Scotland. And the land taught many of my ancestors about the beauty of this earth, about God’s artistry in peppers’ colorings and flavors.

And also about the impermanence of this world and our life in it. On an ATV ride today Dave and I came upon many leaves already turning bright red, harbingers of autumn rains and winds that will pull those leaves to the ground.
So I look at nature and learn the pictorial version of the psalmist’s instruction: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 ESV

Put in that light, aging is not a maudlin topic; instead, we all have a calling to seek a heart of wisdom. We don’t simply gather more experiences, check off every bucket list item, fatten our portfolio each year, or earn points in heaven for earthly deeds done.
Instead, we cast a longer look, take a deeper drink of what matters. We may even asked questions we have avoided for decades.

What is a heart of wisdom? Where do I find it? How do I acquire more of it? If I haven’t been numbering my days, have I lost my opportunity? These questions deserve thoughtful consideration.

When Job comes to the end of his complaints and wisdom, not to mention his so-called comforters’ input, God puts many wisdom questions to Job in chapter 38:

“Can you send forth lightning that they may go
and say to you, ‘Here we are’? Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind?  Who can number the clouds by wisdom? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens…”

The heart of wisdom must connect to God, for we, like Job, cannot begin to answer the questions posed by the Almighty. And if we are honest, many of our current day situations confound us just as Job could make no sense of his life. We need God’s help. And graciously, at whatever age we are, God’s mercies are new every morning. So, like the sunflowers, we lift our faces to the skies, and look to the Giver of all true wisdom. The Lord of heaven and earth is still there, seeking to teach us from the Love Letter written centuries ago. From roots grounded in Him, He gives us wings.

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