Wednesday, April 25 , 2018, 7:43 am | Overcast 52º

 
 
 
 
Faith

Jim Langley: Becoming Better with Age

In my younger days I always appreciated a bottle of fine varietal wine. California wines were my preference back then, and I especially favored a good Gamay Beaujolais.

After becoming a follower of Christ I donated my small collection of California wines to a local charity, where I figured the live auction could at least provide some needed funds to help those who were less fortunate.

As you probably know, red wines become better with age when cared for properly.

The best wine I ever tasted was a gift from a doctor in El Paso, Texas, who had recently retired from the World Health Organization. This gentlemen presented me with an Argentinean red table wine that was produced in 1965.

It looked quite plain, and I distinctly remember taking it to a New Year’s Eve party with a small group of work associates years ago. To my surprise, that table wine was simply remarkable, and I immediately wished I had saved it for a more special occasion where my friends who appreciated fine wines could have shared the experience with me.

Just like a good red wine we, too, can become better with age.

Whether we become better with age or just bitter is our personal choice. As we age, we will certainly go through many life experiences that will shape our attitudes and the way we think.

As a follower of Christ I do my best to pattern my life after others who have gone before me and learn from their example. We’re reminded by Christ Jesus himself in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In James 1:2-3, we are instructed “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

In fact, that’s what makes for a full-bodied, exceptionally tasty red wine. It must be mature and complete and drinking it before proper aging takes away from the tasting experience.

Early in my insurance sales career I was given a book, The Greatest Salesman in the World, by Og Mandino, which tells the story of Hafid, a poor camel boy who achieves a life of abundance after following the explicit instructions found in 10 scrolls. Personally, I found the book inspiring and worthwhile in my professional life and my Christian walk.

There are some references to Paul in the book and praying to God, but I never considered it to be strictly for a Christian audience. In fact, as a sales manager, I recommended all my agents read the book for their own personal growth and success in their chosen career.

In essence, following “the legend of the 10 scrolls” can certainly provide a formula for a full-bodied life that can be satisfying and fulfilling in one’s chosen profession. It does not bring about the peace that we all long for as human beings. That can only come from a right relationship with our Father in Heaven through His Son’s work on the cross.

Completeness can only come from recognizing our sinful nature, turning away from our sinful ways and believing in Christ as Savior and Lord of all.

In his devotional My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers often talks about our wanting to become “broken bread and poured-out wine” in our desires to serve God.

Chambers ends one of his devotionals in this way: “I wonder what finger and thumb God has been using to squeeze you? Have you been as hard as a marble and escaped? If you are not ripe yet, and if God had squeezed you anyway, the wine produced would have been remarkably bitter.”

He ends the devotion, “Stay right with God and let Him do as He likes, and you will find that He is producing the kind of bread and wine that will benefit His other children.”

As we grow older and hopefully wiser, I trust you will join me in stopping our whining in the honorable quest to become better, not bitter, with age!

Passages to Ponder

» Deuteronomy 4:5-7

» Job 12:11-13

» Psalm 119:97-104

» Proverbs 14:8-12

» Ephesians 4:31

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Patricia Griffin
Patricia Griffin
"I am very hands on and feel that each transaction is special and different. My clients goals are foremost in what I do to bring about a successful transaction."

Full Profile >