There’s a phrase my best friend’s dad used to always say to us when were younger, and I can still hear his voice in my head to this day. “Zeh Eurleeee Burrd getzzz de wuurm,” he would instruct. My friends and I were eleven, so we just laughed at his accent and never gave his advice a second thought. Recently, Forbes wrote an article that reminded me of this ancient Chinese proverb—don’t really know if it’s Chinese but my eleven-year-old-self classified it as such.
I think my friend’s dad was on to something.
So many times we’re too cool, or too smart, or too independent to listen to others. We ride off people older than us as if their life was history that couldn’t possibly relate to the “now.” History repeats itself. The same problems, sin and struggles we face now were faced 50 years ago. And just maybe those people have learned a thing or two along their journey.
So the question I have today is simply this: What piece of advice do you remember receiving that you’ve laughed off? These “wax-on-wax-off” nuggets of truth are worth applying to our lives.
This week, God has been reminding me of some older friends that have shared wisdom with me and here’s what God has revealed:
Appreciate Antiquity, and then build upon it.
I’m not talking about the classic writers of antiquity but I use “antiquity” to say, “something older than you.” Old folk, ideas, and stories can springboard our modern-day problems. This doesn’t conflict with innovation, but rather encourages us to look down and appreciate the rich history we’re standing on before we write it off as irrelevant. Appreciate the history of an organization, a city, or position. Then, build something new upon it. New ideas are just revisions of the old.
For example, many of the ideas for Press Bible came from generations past. The ministry that has deeply inspired Press Bible is the late Dr. J Vernon McGee’s Through the Bible Radio Program. His 5-year study through the Bible covers every book, verse, and sub thought of the Bible, and it inspired me to work towards an extensive video commentary of the Bible. Today, Through the Bible encourages millions all over the world to learn the Word of God.
So may we be humble today, appreciating the people and generations before us and thank them for the years of unsolicited advice.
“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the LORD.”