To Live, Learn and Serve

---By Joseph Wang

Due to advancements in science and technology, particularly in the field of medicine, hygiene, nutrition and the environment, the human life span has increased dramatically. Psalm 90:10 tells us that the length of our days is seventy years --- or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away (NIV). One may wonder if the meaning and quality of his/her life have also increased while growing older, or whether he/she is even happy to live longer. In fact, the problem of an aging population everywhere in the world is growing and becoming more serious. Dealing with this problem has been drawing increased attention among all nations. This article is not intended to offer any answer. Rather, it will hopefully provide a small window to shed some light on this subject.

Several old sayings concerning old age may be listed as follows for examples: ( 1) The longer we live, the more we learn; (2) One is never too old to learn; and (3) There is still much to learn after one has grown old. These clearly indicate that to live and to learn should go together, hand in hand, namely, learning while you are living. This is a positive approach in making your life so active, meaningful and optimistic. On the contrary, typical retirement activities such as fishing, playing cards and traveling may soon become tasteless, negative and even pessimistic, and lose all motivational power.

In my own experience, after I voluntarily retired, I started to pursue the Lord daily and diligently. Through the morning revival, personally contacting the Lord, praying, singing, reading and studying the Bible, either with other saints or individually, I really enjoy Him very much. As the days go by, He truly becomes richer and richer to me. Praise Him.

Owing to these spiritual exercises, my memorizing ability has not yet declined, and my mind is still as sharp as in the past. Also, I believe that learning to recite Bible verses or hymns verses helps to keep my brain active and fresh. The more I exercise in this way, the more I am rejuvenated, not in my body, but in my soul and spirit. Verse 5b in Psalm 103 --- "so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's" (NIV) --- may then be realized.

One might agree to this principle of "to live and to learn". The next question may arise: then what? To learn is not the purpose, rather, the procedure. So, what is the ultimate goal of learning? The proper answer is to serve. Once again, one may then ask: to serve what? Well, one may serve in many ways, e.g. to serve the country, the society, etc. But the most honorable and privileged serving is to serve our Lord.

In the divine eternal economy of God, there is a principle of prime importance --- the principle of incarnation. It reveals that not only God became a man to carry out His economy, but also He needs man to corporate with Him to completely fulfill His economy --- His heart desire, purpose and plan. In other words dear saints, our God needs you to serve Him in His economy, not only at young and middle ages, but also at old age. All of us are born with some gifts and useful to Him. Each of us has at least one talent. Please do not bury your talent in the ground, rather, develop it and gain more (Matt 25:14 - 30).

May our Lord grant us such a vision of serving. Certainly, we can learn by serving, and serve by learning. The longer we live, the more we learn, and the more we serve. Therefore, dear saints, please rise up, learn, and serve.

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