Musings on My 60th

September 19, 2022


In less than two hours, I would be turning 60.

Wow. I never thought I would reach this far. I have tasted what 40 and 50 felt like, and I can tell you each milestone has its own flavor.

As I write this, I am sitting in our dining room, in solitude, feeling the weight of my years. Time continues to march on inexorably. Ever the pensive introvert, I like to tease “Öh, I’m old! I’m ancient!” I would have added “I’m decrepit” but that would be laying it a bit thick.

Besides, I thank God for my relatively good health.  By His grace, my worst enemy is allergic rhinitis. I still have my mental faculties. And I thank God for giving me a loving, faithful co-pilgrim in Lucy as we saunter into the sunset.

I tend to gravitate to what Jacob said to Pharaoh, “My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers” (Genesis 47:9).

In my six decades feeling the dust of this earth, I had my share of ups and downs… mostly downs. I remember the things I have said and wish I have not, the things I didn’t do and wish I did. I remember the valley of tears which seem to be more than the mountaintops of ecstasy.

But I am still here. Another thing Jacob said, this time on his deathbed, came to mind. Genesis 48:15 says in part, “the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day.”

I draw great comfort that Jacob lamented that with longevity comes burden and there were times it seemed that God abandoned him to his own devices. But as the curtain closed for the last time, he was filled with serene gratitude that God – his shepherd – was with him all along.

Every. Single. Day.

Tomorrow, as they say, is the first day of the rest of my life. I continue to fill my mind with learning. I continue to dedicate my writing and speaking gifts to the Lord. I continue to share hard-knock wisdom to whoever wishes to listen.

Will I see my own curtain close two years from now? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? Mortality tends to freeze you and reassess everything. But what counts is that each day is travelled with the Shepherd. That, alone, is worth the journey I call life.

Such is the hope we have when we put ourselves at the loving hand of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. I do hope you will taste the same blessing.

#60years

1 Comments

Is the adage “knowledge is power” still true? Well, it depends on the knowledge.

Certainly there are proprietary content and intelligence reports that, by nature, will give one person an advantage over the other. If, for example, I am haggling prices with you and I somehow know your rock-bottom level, I would go for the kill.

But generally, knowledge has become democratic. Thanks to the internet, everyone and anyone has access to the same publicly posted knowledge.

It used to be that, in my engineering days, I have to memorize numerical constants (e.g., the speed of light) and formulae (e.g. how to convert Celsius to Fahrenheit, or vice versa).

Not anymore. I just ask the near-omniscient Google. And don’t forget those DIY tutorials like the ones you see in Youtube.

So if you and a horde of others tend to know the same stuff, what would be your competitive advantage?

In a word: wisdom.

It’s one thing to have a lot of information in our heads. It’s way different to have a lot of wisdom. For example:

·        Discerning who are the real stakeholders of a project
·        Looking for root causes versus band-aid solutions
·        Defusing interpersonal conflict in a tactful, win-win way
·        Making good decisions even with incomplete data
·        Knowing what is truly valuable in an argument
·        Losing a battle to win a war
·        Asking great questions to unlock great answers

Wisdom pays a lot more because anyone can gobble up knowledge from books, but it’s a rare breed that has accumulated wisdom from years of experience. We seek such people so we don’t have to make costly mistakes and/or we can turbo-charge our success.

Perhaps we should talk about the death of the knowledge-worker age and champion the rise of the wisdom-worker age.

While knowledge has its share of power, wisdom is more powerful. So seek wisdom.

“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7

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