Yesterday I was talking with a young man in his 20’s and we were discussing life choices. He asked me if it was difficult for me to make friends since my perspective on what was important was so different than common society. I chuckled at first, wanting to say, it was easy for me to build new friendships. In reality, it isn’t easy. I am older than most people I see in my day-to-day activities. In fact, I often find myself talking with people from my grandparents’ generation. I find their stories fascinating and full of wisdom and humor. The older generations have lived through hardships, struggles, loss, and success. They have recognized that trends will change, the pendulum will swing again, and in the end what is enduring are the choices they have made through the years.
My husband has even teased me that I am an old-person magnet because of the way I pass my time. I tend to be knitting or working on a quilt piece when I am waiting for an appointment while others are scrolling social media feeds. I have book, snap, and gram accounts, but I would rather have something to show for my time. So, in answer to the young man I said, “Yes, I do have trouble making new friends who are interested in the same things I am.” I am content with that though. I don’t feel sad that I am not surrounded by crowds, I would rather be surrounded by a few dear faces at any time.
I know I am not someone who is up on the newest whatever it is. I would rather be in a prairie skirt milking my goats and collecting eggs. Working in the garden, planning a cutting garden, canning, freezing, baking and quilting. I want to learn the handiwork skills my great-grandmothers knew. Not because I don’t want to buy something, but because of the pride I have in making it. The simplicity is what I long for in my life and a small, intimate circle of friends helps provide that for me.
I think of Christ as well, when it comes to friends. He had the twelve disciples, Lazarus, Martha and Mary, John, James, and Peter. But Scripture often describes Jesus going off alone to pray. He wasn’t trying to avoid the people who were with Him. He just knew the best way to be encouraged, to gain wisdom, and to even be comforted. Jesus went to His Father.
I am not trying to say the older generations are on the same level as God, of course. But there is some common sense to it. God gave us those who are older to be people we could speak with for wisdom, insight, and encouragement. Even correction. It would be foolish for us to not seek out their perspectives. It might be a relative, a neighbor down the street, or someone from your church, but seek them out and learn from their stories.
Dear Ones, who is dear to you? Who would you want to continue to build up and build into in your life? It isn’t just the next generation who should be feeding your soul, it’s also about speaking into the hearts and lives of the younger generations. Titus 2 gives simple but beautiful instruction about how to build up and encourage those around you (Titus 2:1-8, 11-13).
We were created for community, something I have written about in the past. No matter my circle, I desire to be intentional about my words, my time, what I give, and what I receive from others. Whether it be generations ahead of me or those coming up after me. What about you, Best Beloved? What are your intentions?