Life’s Essence

“As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart” Pr. 27:19

Ben Patterson writes in The Grand Essentials:

I have a theory about old age…I believe that when life has whittled us down, when joints have failed and skin has wrinkled and capillaries have clogged and hardened, what is left of us will be what we were all along, in our essence. 

curmudgeon“Exhibit A is a distant uncle…All his life he did nothing but find new ways to get rich. He spent his senescence very comfortably, drooling and babbling constantly about the money he had made. When life whittled him down to his essence, all that was left was raw greed. This is what he had cultivated in a thousand little ways over a lifetime.” 

“Exhibit B is my wife’s grandmother…When she died in her mid eighties, she had already been godly seniorsenile for several years. What did this lady talk about? The best example I can think of was when asked to pray before dinner, she would reach out and hold the hands of those sitting beside her, a broad beatific smile would spread across her face, her dim eyes would fill with tears as she looked up to heaven, and her chin would quaver as she poured out her love to Jesus. That was Edna in a nutshell. She loved Jesus and she loved people. She couldn’t remember our names, but she couldn’t keep her hands from patting us lovingly whenever we got near her. When life whittled her down to her essence, all that was left was love; love for God and love for others.”

The difference in the “essence” that emerged as life waned for each of these people is defined by the priorities each person chose as he or she went about the day’s business. Grandma Edna did all that she did each day because of her love for her family and her love for God and His children. The uncle’s life was lived only for himself. When life has whittled you down to your essence, whom will you most resemble: the uncle or the grandmother? 

Real Time Web Analytics