Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oscar Wilde said,

Young men want to remain faithful but can’t…
Old men want to be unfaithful but can’t.

I think it was Martin Luther who said (paraphrased from memory),
In his twenties a man is tempted by sex, in his thirties by money and in his forties by power. At fifty a man is tempted to think, 'my what a righteous man I've become.'

John Wesley said that
much of what we call holiness is simply old age.
(Now THAT is funny!)

Richard Rohr has a new book called, Falling Upward. One premise of the book is that the issues of spirituality in early life are different than those in later life. In early life, he says, we wrestle with the devil and with ourselves: sexuality, greed, lust, selfishness...stuff like that.

Then in later life we don't wrestle with the devil and flesh, we wrestle with God. Was it worth while to live for You? Who are You, anyway? Maybe nothing matters. This is a selfishness of a deeper kind.

When we are finished with the issues of early life we might tend to feel holy. I mean, I don't struggle with lots of the issues my young friends do. There is a deep tranquility in my life style and habits. I have learned healthy life skills and the value of faithfulness etc, but some of what is easy for me is simply the lack of desire to chase the juicy bone, no pun intended.

It is easy to point fingers at the sins of youth. The issues of maturity - wrestling with God - are left largely unspoken (at least in my circle of faith and friendship.) Except if you have coffee with me.

And I just have to add, if an old man is fumbling to get his zipper undone fast enough, he is lost on so many levels. Just saying.


Donna said...

I wish I could have coffee with you.

Soccer Mom said...

Fascinating post. Here's an observation I've made - while there may be many people of a certain age who do not struggle with the sins of their youth, not all of them, by a long shot, are struggling with God. I have observed those who've given up certain pursuits, and achieved some level of contentment, but have also kind of "settled into" themselves. By settled, I mean they've grown used to their flaws and weaknesses and no longer see any need for growth. The place where I'm so content that I no longer see any need for change in myself is a place I do not ever want to be. I'd like to think the day will come when I've "arrived", but I know for sure, it ain't ever gonna happen!

Marilyn said...

I knew you would comment, soccer mom. I agree. Isn't that sad, though? This person has stopped wrestling at all. I do not want to be there, either.