It’s hard to imagine Christ sitting in an office writing books. Jesus was always moving. Christ gave His life to people, changed perspectives, landscapes. He moved, and where they wanted to keep Him and even make Him king, He evaded. Jesus was always on the move.
It is very important for a pilgrim to see the world with different eyes – we need to move. We are travelers, we are sailing in the river of life, this is good, and this is inevitable.
There are things that are inevitable. It is sad to fight the inevitable – there are things that we have the power to change, and even, to some extent, we should change them, and there are things that we can’t change, and we should not change them. There is God’s determination, which He told us in His Word and even gave us in the spirit – the eternal knowledge that we have to find within ourselves.
“Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill; but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 14:31-35).
Why does the King’s strategizing of victory happen in this way – “whoever does not forsake”? Why does the Lord connect these things? We are talking about the fact that man has to calculate the costs. He says that it is not worth making war against someone who is bigger than you – with the inevitability of providence. God says that if you are reasonable, then you will not make war, knowing in advance that you will lose. There are things that are useless to fight.
Therefore, the Lord says: “… so each of you must forsake all he has in order to be My disciple.” This condition of forsaking all things is not carelessness, it is concentration on the flow of the river of life, it is careful observation.
Further He says that the salt should not lose its power – it is the salt of wisdom, the true power of life.
Unfortunately, it happens that people do not take care of their health, they are treated when it is too late, when the disease manifests, instead of preventing it.
So is the spiritual person. When we see certain diseases of spiritual man – bad traits become part of the character, irritability causes no deep repentance with tears, a raised voice, offensive words, bad habits become a norm – we understand that these are symptoms of internal burnout. It is very important that we have a balance and harmony between the external man who works in the Apostolic works – on earth, in the material world – and between that side of man, which is internal. Paul says that a true Jew is one who is “such inwardly.” Or he speaks of the beauty of a woman, as of “the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit.”
God doesn’t look at our physical abilities, because this is all mortal, this is all of the earth, but God is preparing our inner man. This is important. When we leave it untended, then the time comes when we must analyze and correct everything.
Think about it: “the hidden man of the heart.” We need to build up the inner man.
Imagine a meek sister, who yells and gets annoyed at home. This is a spiritual disease because she has “neglected” herself.
And it doesn’t matter what condition her husband is in – she has “neglected” herself. She allows herself such things as a part of life. The same refers to brothers.
If the inner man, which must be renewed from day to day, wears out, we need to think. A person with age in the Lord should become kinder. He has to become softer, more gentle, more merciful, more compassionate. But it happens that a person, on the contrary, becomes more nervous, irritable, irreconcilable.
Therefore, today we want to talk about this – but not in the style of morality, but contemplation.
The Book of Proverbs says that “the glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head.”
I remember one sermon that I heard over twenty years ago, I was delighted with the breadth of the preacher’s view: he said that modern culture has absorbed several components – this is Eastern mysticism and also the prevalence of youth culture, which pushes maturity and old age as something not just unnecessary, but even sinful!
What madness! After all, every young person has his old age ahead! And to push it to the “back shelf”, to be ashamed of it as of a bad thing is insane. You condemn yourself, because twenty or thirty years will pass, and you will have for the way you treated it.
The Scriptures say that young men have glory. And old people have glory. Understand that old age has God’s glory. It’s wonderful!
Whatever age you are, you have access to the glory of your age. In your years, there is a cloud of glory above your number. Find it. With the young men it is the strength of life, youth, this sincere trust, the strength of impulse. It’s amazing and incredible! Youth will take care of itself. Life goes on with all its might.
The glory of the old is in wisdom. But youth shifts them aside, and older people are ashamed of their age, especially women. People go to all sorts of tricks to slow down the time and look younger. The entire media industry curses mature and old age. It breaks into our consciousness to prove to us that we should look as young as possible. And even young people, girls at the age of 20 thank you if they were “given” below twenty.
Old age is when there is no harmony between the inner world and the body.
One should act according to your age. But people are ashamed, in their old age they behave like young people, and this dishonors man. Old people have their own glory.
Set your age number and please don’t go over or below the true one. Live according to how old you really are. Draw a cloud and write “Shekhina” above it, because your number has a right for it.
How can a person remain “uncorrupted”? Going to church doesn’t make us spiritual. We must work. Christ said, “Whoever does not forsake all that he has can’t be My disciple.”
As for me, I think I’m a nauhty child. And now I know that I’m not alone. This is my true “self”. This is your real person. Jesus once took a child and said, “Unless you become like little children, you can’t be My disciple.” It is this little child that the Lord sees in us.
Here is such a paradox. What are we going to do with this young man? What will we do with the body that gets mature and transforms?
Take your age and draw a cloud of blessing over it – “of the Sheikina” – because this is your blessing, do not be ashamed!
If the church goes into this deception, it will be a great shame. Because God will instruct maidens and young men with dreams and visions, and also the elders. All of them will be together, all under the glory of God. I want to bless you all with this blessed truth – that we find glory over our figure. There is the grace of the seasons.
I like one example about monks. A monk is not the one who flees from unhappy love. He comes to the Lord, and doesn’t run away from life.
If you approach a monk suddenly, unveil his hood a little, and there he smiles, then he is a true monk. The monk under the hood should always smile, because he loves the Lord. This is how we should live with you – not age under the hood, but a state of mind.
If they unveil your hood, what will people see there? Are you sure you’re surrounded by the right people, are you sure you’re saved? Therefore, what should not grow old is our mind. The mind may not be so sharp anymore, but fear can’t be allowed.
What are our biggest fears – related to age, to our look? What are we afraid of? It is very important to understand this moment today. We don’t flow in the river of life, we live in the moment. And we choose whether we will be unhappy or happy.
Our inner world. Take this “kairos”, this moment – and live it happily! Rejoice! Give thanks! Give a grateful heart to this moment! Don’t look either ahead or up to others – be thankful for the now.
Maybe there is some pain in the side – but it’s just “earth”, it’s “physics”, and your spirit is eternal. Rejoice and give thanks!
This is your life. Breathe deep. It doesn’t matter how old the monk under the hood is, what matters is that eternity is already breathing, eternity is already here. How wonderful it is!
I used to be ashamed of this naughty boy inside me, but it is him that the Lord sees. That real one is the true you. Don’t worry about the future, live in the present.
If you could name your fears, what are you most afraid of? Try not to run away from them, but invite them for tea. Maybe they aren’t enemies at all! Maybe they are afraid of you.
We do not feel when Paul or John became old. We hear when Paul was a youth, then Paul became an old man. But we don’t feel the difference. Why? Because he continued to “sail” like that, the “shekhina” was above his head.
How we need to simplify, so that even as we admit mistakes, we speak the truth. If only now we could shake off our chain mail and just return to our true selves! How wonderful it would be! Then love would have no boundaries and take on its true face.
Remember two things – “a smile under the hood” and “your number with a cloud.”