Day Six: Aging

There is a place in Frankenmuth, Michigan that sells aged cheese and meats. The cheese has been aged ten, fifteen, even twenty years. I have wondered how they keep it from getting moldy. It also makes me wonder who waits twenty years for cheese? But it is the price that baffles me. Aged cheese, even 0.25 pounds, is sold for more than fifty U.S. dollars. Seriously!

In older countries, like China and Japan, age of a person matters. The older you are, the more respect you receive. In our country, seniority used to matter in the marketplace. And the Antique Road Show used to be one of the most watched programs on PBS.

However, my country is still young and we crave new and improved over tried and true. I’m guilty. I want innovation, but new for the sake of new is not a good reason. When I was a child, I wanted to grow up fast so I could try all of the adult experiences. My mom would say, “You will be an adult for the rest of your life, but you will only be a child once”.

I did not understand. I interpreted my mom to mean that I was not an adult and I would need to wait. Then I became an adult and I understood. Even now I find myself intentionally listening more and more to those who have gone before me.

Yes, times are different. Yes, things have changed. Yes, we are always making discoveries through science and technology. But there will always be unchanging universal truths. These are the truths we learn from someone older. They are wiser because they have tried more, failed more, learned more, cried more, and hoped more than me. More than you.

Lent is an old practice. There are things we can discover about ourselves, others, and God from this timely tradition. During this season, let down your guard. Listen to one person who has gone before you. God will help you to discern the universal truth you need right now.

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