It was the mid-1990s and I still didn’t have an internet connection in my office. Among pastors at that time, there was an ongoing discussion about whether or not computers had much of a role to play in church life. Many felt there would never be a need for a computer in church.
One day, there was a soft knock at my door. It was a sweet little lady in her 70s who lived in the church-run seniors’ building next door. She had a problem and thought that I, as a young pastor, might be able to help her.
Usually, these types of requests involved moving furniture, but I indicated that I was happy to help anyway. Turns out I couldn’t help her…The problem was that her personal webpage was down and she had some very technical questions about how to get it back up and running. In matters of understanding the internet, she was light-years ahead of me. I just remember being amazed at how current she was when it came to computers and technology. She was forever mentioning something she had found on the ‘web’ or connecting with her grandchildren who lived far away. She was also a lot of fun and an enjoyable person to be around – the kind of person you want to be when you grow up.
Over a hundred years ago, Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.” Ford made the statement based on his gut instinct, but the research is showing that he was right. People who continue to engage with the world around them stay younger and happier as they age. Being a lifelong learner is good for you.
Many people know that Proverbs 1:7 starts with “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, yet they forget it also says, “but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” What happens when we stop learning and growing? We not only get old, but we also become foolish.
It takes a bit of humility to admit that we don’t know everything. Lack of teachability often shows up as pride, and that can hinder our walk. As we age, we need to do so gracefully, which means having a spirit that’s open to learning more.