Wednesday, July 9, 2014
How Old Do you Look?
I've noticed that I must be looking older actually because recently I've had young people, usually young Asian women, stand up on the bus to make room for the old man who has gotten on the bus. I appreciate the cultural respect for age... but I'm not sure I appreciate being seen as in the senior citizen, or even worse old and decrepit category unable to stand up on the bus. I did find it rather interesting that when I was trying to plant StudentSoul at Auckland University I found it rather hard, and charming at the same time that the Korean Students referred to me as "Kind Old Man".
Of course part of not trying to look younger maybe that as a male people tell me that my grey hair does not make me look older it makes me look rather distinguished. Although I have to admit at the end of long days when I look in the mirror I feel more extinguished than distinguished.
But, I have come to realise that its not really about how old you look, but how old you look... no that's not a typo... its a play on words. People in our western material world are being convinced that its important to look younger than you are, that its about appearance, but I actually think its about how you perceive things. How we see the world rather than how the world sees us.
When I turned forty my eyes decided they would start to change, and my eye sight deteriorated. I couldn't see as far as I used to, and the horizon got a bit more fuzzy. I needed glasses. I discovered that when I went to overtake a truck and cars coming the other way had to swerve to avoid me...
A expensive discovery as the police officer who pulled me over and gave me a well deserved ticket asked me "didn't you see those cars coming." There was nothing wrong with eyesight as he picked up that my licence had expired the month before as well. of course as I went for my licence and failed it because of my eyesight.
I realised that the answer to the policeman's question was "No, No I hadn't seen them coming". My eyes had grown older and the lens had changed shape. I now look with older eyes, through glass lenses. and I usually look twice before over taking.
But I find that I know look at the world in different ways. I sometimes look at the world with young eyes. Full of wonder of the things around me, full of possibility about possibilities and chances for change and transformation. looking to the future with hope.
Sometimes I find myself look with old eyes. World weary and often cynical, hopefully with a bit more wisdom and hopefully still with hope that things can change.
AS I pondered on this word play I thought God invites us to look with both young eyes and old eyes and see the possibility of God's preferred future, by his spirit. Joel 2 quoted by Peter says at Pentecost says that God promised to pour out his holy spirit and your young men would see visions and your old men would dream dreams... I'm not sure which category I fit into but I desire to see the possibility of new things and kingdom of God possibilities as I look at the world and the challenges that we face.