The Wisdom of Our Elders
Remember the days of old;
consider the generations long past.
Ask your father and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will explain to you. — Deuteronomy 32:7
Mention the subject history, and many will break out in a cold sweat, conjuring up images of sitting in a classroom memorizing names, places, and events. However, the study of history is not about learning facts as much as it is about learning lessons from the past. Scripture teaches, “Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past.” The Bible tells us to study history so that we will learn from it.
Learning from the past is important not only for humanity as a whole, but also for every individual. Just as nations can learn valuable lessons from the history of previous generations, so too, can we learn from those who have come before us. The verse continues, “Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.” As someone once told me, God created gray hair so that we would know who to go to for advice!
A few years ago a nurse working in palliative care found herself having profound conversations with her patients. The result was a book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. From what the dying wished they had done differently, the living could learn precious lessons about the changes they should make in their own lives — before it’s too late.
Here are the five regrets.
Hard-earned wisdom! There’s so much we can learn from our elders who have a lifetime of experiences to share with us — if only we take the time to listen.
There is a treasure chest of gems just waiting to be discovered. We can learn much from the people of the Bible and from the many biographies out there – but let us never overlook the gift of the elderly in our own lives. We can learn from them so that our lives will be better; then we can pass on their lessons as well as our own to future generations.