The Winter Wisdom: Reflecting on a Lifetime

Welcome back to our ‘Seasons of Manhood‘ series. As the year draws to a close, we find ourselves in the Winter season of life—defined by men aged 65 and above. This is a season for reflection, giving, and most importantly, legacy-building.

We’re honored to have a special guest writer this week, my grandfather, Merlin Wittenberg. A man of God in his Winter season, Merlin offers a unique perspective: The success of your Winter season is determined by the fruit of your other seasons. Just as you forage firewood in the summer for the cold winter months, or prepare for storms before they arrive, so too should you prepare for this season of life when you’re young.

Wisdom for the Winter: Preparing for the Senior Season of Life

Merlin Wittenberg Here,

A pleasure to be writing to you all. Something you should know about me is that my wife and I are lifelong travelers. Throughout our many vacations and trips, one constant essential has been the art of meticulously crafting our adventures. Every journey takes planning and the Senior Season (or the winter of manhood) is no different.

The Importance of Planning:

My wife, Jan, and I recently just planned our 60th anniversary (Praise the Lord!)

First and foremost, we started by selecting places to go and friends we were eager to reunite with. Then, we dug into a wealth of travel tips, hunting for the right places to stay, deciding what to pack, and drawing from our own past trips as well as advice from friends, reliable travel agents, helpful books, and informative literature.

Now, let’s imagine for a moment that I had surprised my beloved Jan just one day before our anniversary, announcing our departure on a splendid 3-week adventure. Her response? A resounding ‘WHAT!!’

Where are we going? how are we going to get there? How much will it cost!? (She was an accountant) To her alarm, my response would be that we are going to ‘wing it.’ Perhaps securing plane tickets, booking a cruise, or even opting for a spontaneous road trip. I was confident it would be an exhilarating escapade, creating memories to stand the test of time. While ‘long-lasting memories’ would be a truthful assertion, it might not guarantee entirely pleasant recollections.

The scenario above may seem whimsical, yet many individuals, particularly men, venture into the Senior Season of life with a similar carefree attitude.

Essential Resources for Men:

“The Senior Season deserves the same level of seriousness and planning as a major trip or vacation. Trust me; I speak from our own life experiences.

My primary guide for navigating this season is God’s word:

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” – Jeremiah 29:11

“‘Even until your old age, I am the one, and I’ll carry you even until your gray hairs come.'” – Isaiah 46:4-5

Another valuable resource was my father,

who instilled in me the wisdom of taking initiative and putting others first. He taught me to see tasks that needed doing and to act without waiting to be told. This principle applied broadly, aligns with his advice: ‘Always leave a job while they want you to stay, before they ask you to leave.’

The Senior Season demands adjustments. As a Man of God, look forward with trust, ready to downsize, and accept the blessings God has in store for you.

I hope my experiences provide you with guiding principles for your own preparations in the Senior Season.

Here’s to Building Together with Him!

Brandon Bell & Merlin Wittenberg

– Blueprint For Men Leadership