One of the few advantages growing older brings is experience. Experience is routinely discounted by those who have none, sometimes overrated by those who incorrectly perceive themselves as having some, and best recognized by its fruits, ofttimes borne by its faithful sidekick patience.

There’s a reason why Scripture tells us love is patient and kind. It is. Patience incorporates understanding that the mind’s back room routinely pulls us back from saying and/or doing something that at that moment seems to be the best, if indeed not the only, action plan. Only later on do we consciously realize what we didn’t say and/or do, at the time not understanding why we held back, was the correct response.

Experience and its faithful sidekick patience welcome along for the ride persistence, the ability to stick it out and not let the moment overly influence long term plans and possibilities. The person we are tempted to give up on, the one who despite all presented evidence fails to grasp the obvious, is quite often the one person we should doggedly stick with, or stick beside if you prefer. In time, light will pour into their opened eyes. God never gives up on us; we should follow His lead. Of course we should shield or remove ourselves from those committed to dragging others into their self-destruction, or who take satanic delight in destroying others. Thankfully, said allegedly human horror shows are limited in number. Most can be reached with love and forgiveness; if not today, in a future today whose exact date is unknown to us but will take place nonetheless.

Experience teaches us when and how to bide our time and bite our tongue, said actions routinely happening simultaneously. Not everything needs a comment; not everyone needs to hear what we believe we have to say. Let it ride. Let it slide. Slow your roll. Trust your experience-honed instincts. Listen for, and to, the still small voice. Seek both sides of the story, or as is often the case all three sides of the story: the one as seen by party A, the one as seen by party B, and the actual truth. Speak up when moved to do so, but pull in the reins when not. Let things play out.

And be kind.