I read a story last week about a man who tried to save money by fixing his refrigerator himself. After Googling the problem, reading a bit online and watching some YouTube videos he decided he needed to replace the display panel on the fridge door. The part cost $100 and when installed didn’t fix the problem. Next, he replaced the control board at a cost of $179. Things weren’t improving. He finally called a repairman admitting that he didn’t have any expertise in electrical parts or the experience to troubleshoot. He just had the internet, a broken refrigeration, and was out of pocket by a couple of hundred dollars. Sometimes we just have to concede that we don’t know everything.
When I was younger, I was overconfident in my knowledge of things and my ability to learn new skills. Growing older I’ve realized that I don’t know everything but am now sometimes overconfident when trusting my experience. It’s dangerous to reach a certain age and think we know it all or have seen it all. Neither knowledge nor experience always means wisdom.
I’m grateful for the experience I have gained. I wish I had some better insights twenty years ago because it would have saved many people and me, a lot of grief. Nonetheless, I have to be careful about growing complacent and thinking that I can’t learn anything new or see something in a different light.
Job’s friend Elihu says to him
I thought, ‘Age should speak;
advanced years should teach wisdom.’
But it is the spirit in a person,
the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding.
It is not only the old who are wise,
not only the aged who understand what is right. (Job 32:7-9)
Age alone does not mean we are wise. Youth doesn’t mean someone can’t offer wisdom to the group. What we all need, whatever our age, is the ‘breath of the Almighty’ which gives us understanding.