There are benefits with age. One is perspective. I see what I could not see in my youth. It is more than experience extending one’s line of sight. It is the ability to see one’s mistakes in a different light. It is the recognition that time and place can be reasons to have or not have a conversation. I wish I could say that I used my age wisely. Facts suggests that this idea is more aspirational than real.
As I sat in the car on the way to the airport, the driver was more than chatty. He was a running stream of stories – many of them quite funny. As I enjoyed following along, I realized that several principles I would do well to remember!
Drivers may seem to be focused on the road and driving. Regardless of the truth in appearances, they are always listening.
Drivers may not understand the details of your conversation, however they are experts in relationships. They know how to read people. They get the nuances of your body language. They can hear between the lines of a story.
Some drivers love to talk. They are not often heard. When they find a willing audience, the stories begin! Personal, business, appropriate and sometimes note, there are so many to choose from.
As I listened to Oscar escapades, a convention faux pas or two, and odd events, I realized I could easily be a character in someone’s story. I wish I could unwind some of my conversations. I would love to replay events differently in my past. Candidly, I wonder if I would be wise enough to do anything differently. Somehow, I doubt it.
What I realize is that I can be intentional with the time and places in my present. When asked, I can play the role of Festus. In his case, he “answered that Caesarea was the proper jurisdiction for Paul, and that he himself was going back there in a few days.” (Acts 25.4) Now was not the time or the place for action. Patience can be good.