With respect to the Johnny Lee classic (from which the title of this post is culled), life is not easy. For as many people who have contentment, happiness and assurance, there are those who are lonely and have a very real fear of the present and future. There are those who are confused and spin their wheels searching for love, a higher enlightenment or just an escape from their lives. These people are often “ripe for the picking”, their desires for something – anything -better than their present situations cause them to follow and place their trusts in the wrong people and possessions.
People can be fallible. Possessions rust and can be stolen. These are things I’ve learned along the way to becoming middle-aged. Below are three more:
1. Just Because A Person Is Old, Doesn’t Mean He Or She Is Wise. Age has nothing to do with wisdom. There are older people who have experienced much but have learned little. I have an older friend whose conversation is the same as mine. By that, I mean she has the same wants, desires and concerns as me. If one listened to a conversation, one would not be able to determine who was the older, more experienced friend. That doesn’t make her a bad person. However, she may not be the one to turn to for wise counsel.
2. If It Walks Like A Duck…. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have denied a person’s faults because I didn’t want to acknowledge who and what that person really was. I also can’t begin to tell you how many times I have turned a blind eye to a situation because I didn’t want it to be true. In both instances, I was the only one who ended up hurt and disappointed. Note: Denying a fault is not the same as overlooking a fault. When you overlook, you are fully aware of the fault, you choose to not notice. With denying, you refuse its existence. Choosing to overlook is your prerogative; denying means you are lying to yourself. Never, ever lie to yourself.
3. Just Because It Is Said With Authority Doesn’t Make It True. One of the first lessons I was taught during my career in customer service was to never stammer or sound unsure when delivering information to a caller. Why? Because sounding unsure of yourself makes the caller doubt what you are telling them. If you have ever had the experience of speaking with a customer service representative in any capacity, then you’ve probably had the experience of being told something that you later learned wasn’t completely accurate. Customer service representatives don’t set out to deliver incorrect information. It can be challenging working with the public and the sheer volume of calls the average center receives can be daunting. In their efforts to maintain the metrics given to them by management, some representatives may provide an answer that was not fully researched or authorized my management. That doesn’t make it right, but it happens. It also happens in your interaction with others – friends, pastors, etc. Always take the time research for yourself any claim or fact you hear.
If you have made it this far in the post, then you may be wondering the inspiration for this soapbox discourse. If you guessed Harold Camping, you are correct. It now seems that since his May 21, 2011 prediction failed, he is now stating, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the apocalypse will occur October 21, 2011. Most of us have discredited this man’s apocalyptic predictions, but he still has a faithful core of followers. I’m sure that as October 21 approaches, there will be yet another storm of media coverage. While these predictions may have directed more people to reading the Bible, they are also leading those who don’t understand what they are reading to worry unnecessarily. Even worse, these predictions are leading some to mock Christianity. Both can lead to dire consequences.
Don’t be led astray. This includes pastors, friends and other trusted individuals. Stay alert to keep disappointment at bay.