Grow Older, Know Less, be Happier

February 1, 2015

The snow outside our back door

The morning the blizzard began outside our house, I lay in bed, and stumbled for the first time on to the Global Catholic Radio.

I heard a catholic description of the miracle of a baby’s conception. This was followed by information about a law that grants safe haven to a pregnant mother who is financially unable to support the baby after she has given it birth.


A New-born baby

According to the law, a mother may take her new born baby to a hospital, fire station or police headquarters and leave it there with the promise that the baby will be cared for, and she need not fear prosecution.

This seems to be a good law.  I wonder why I needed to learn about it through Catholic media, and not through the many evangelical sources that work so hard to make abortion illegal. We could do better.

breath-of-life-1-638This reminds me of a friend who refers to the creation story in which God formed Adam from the dust of the earth and breathed in him the breath of life, and as written Adam became a “living soul”.  My friend believes that a fetus is not a soul until it is born and takes its first breath, not at the moment of conception as Catholics and evangelicals sincerely believe.

Another friend believes that children are saved because they are innocent and not accountable for their wrong doings. He reasoned that heaven will be populated by the many children who have died in their innocence.  In his mind such children will far out number the adults who have heard and believed the gospel.


I wish

Next I pondered the difference between “wishing,” “believing” and “knowing”.  A wish may be so strong that it becomes a belief and a belief may become so certain  that it evolves into a “truth”. I’m reading Greg Boyd, and he understands such certainty to be evil. Too much certainty unmixed by doubt can separate family and friends, divide churches, and provoke tribes and nations to bloody war.

old man

A happy old man

As I grow older I know less and less almost to the point of knowing nothing for sure.  And  I am more and more content. Might this be the spirit of the beatitudes: Blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, and those who mourn, while they hunger and thirst after righteousness and seek first the kingdom of God, knowing less and less for sure.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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1 Response to Grow Older, Know Less, be Happier

  1. jonas k stoltzfus says:

    like my Pop would have said “too soon old…and too late smart”
    thanks for your “old fool’s” wisdom

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