In his long-awaited first book, Daniel Grothe of New Life church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, shows us how to get wisdom for ourselves by examining what the Bible has to say about it and by providing practical steps for acquiring it.
There is something beautiful about being young. Soak it up. Sleep in a little over the holiday break during your high school years. If you can, gallivant around the globe over the summer breaks of your college years. If you are newly married and plan to have children someday, enjoy the spaciousness of your life together. Take spontaneous weekend trips into the mountains. Car seats and diaper bags will be filling your back seats soon enough. King Solomon advised that young people should enjoy it while it lasts: “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (Eccl. 12:1, emphasis mine).
But in all your blissful enjoyment, please don’t be stupid. You won’t always be able to live the life that you are living now. The moment you’re living in now is as uncomplicated a life as you will ever have. A life of greater complexity and increased responsibility is on its way. Solomon tells us to enjoy the days of our youth “before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say ‘I find no pleasure in them'” (Eccl. 12:1). Old age is coming, and what you do with your lives and with your bodies and with your money in the days of your youth matters.
Too many people are living it up without considering what their deeds will cost, what their actions will mean for their future. Some people sleep around without thinking about the emotional, relational, and physical cost of such a life. Some people drink and drive without thinking about what that might mean for another person’s life (or death), and without thinking what a DUI will mean for their future employment. Some people rack up a bunch of debt thinking they’ll have plenty of time to recover without realizing how it will affect their credit scores and ability to secure loans in the future.
The way you live now will have great bearing on what your life will look like later. Older folks know this stuff. Who better to lead you through the “days of your youth” than the sagacious saints who have navigated the “days of trouble” and come out on the other side with “robust sanity”? But nothing in society will encourage you in their direction. You live in the days of the glorification of youth. You live among those who praise slim bodies instead of sound minds. And the extent to which we continue in this direction is the extent to which we forfeit one of God’s great gifts.
Be humble, young people. Assume you don’t know everything there is to know. Look around the landscape and seek out an older, wiser person you trust. Maybe they will be someone you know from church. Take them to lunch and come ready with a list of questions. Sometimes you’ll be shocked by their profundity, and at other times, their answers will be subjective and will apply more to their unique situation than to yours. Either way, listen and take good notes.
Ask them questions like, “What have you learned that I need to know?” Ask them, “What were some of your greatest challenges during your working years?” Ask them, “Is there anything you would caution me about in this stage of my life?” And keep thinking about other great questions you may have. If you request a meeting, come prepared. Thank them for their time, honor the bits of wholesomeness that you’ve observed in them, and let them know you want to continue to glean from them.
Don’t play the fool. You don’t always have to learn the hard way. If you’ll take the time and do the work, you’ll find sages along the way who can save you a lot of heartache. Make it your goal to spend the rest of your life chasing wisdom.
Daniel Grothe is the Teaching Pastor at the influential New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Daniel and his wife, Lisa, live on a small hobby farm outside of Colorado Springs with their three children: Lillian, Wilson, and Wakley. To learn more, visit DanielGrothe.com and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Chasing Wisdom: The Lifelong Pursuit of Living Well is available for pre-order on Amazon and for purchase at all major booksellers on April 21, 2020.
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