Driving through his old ‘stomping grounds’ on their way to their next assignment, Mark is overcome with regret at not having had the opportunity to tell his grandfather that he loved him. He tells his angel friend, Jonathan, that as a boy he was sent to live with his grandfather on a dusty ranch, somewhere in Oklahoma. With his mother deathly ill and his father serving overseas during World War II, the young boy came to hate the ranch and resent his grandfather.
When a sudden auto accident leaves Mark in critical condition, hovering between life and death, he gets the chance to remedy that situation. He and Jonathan are transported back in time, giving Mark the opportunity to counsel himself as a young boy.
“That old man in there, he’s got stories he could tell that would knock your ears off,” Mark tells his younger self.
“How come he never told them,” the boy asks.
“Because you never asked to hear them,” Mark replies. “(Your grandfather) is a book, son. All grandparents are. They are like magic books that are filled up with who you are, where you come from – and when those old people die those books are lost forever.”
Galatians 5:22-23 – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Job 12:12 – With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
Leviticus 19:32 – You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.
There is an old epigram that says youth is wasted on the young, and sometimes that seems to be the case. Youth is bold and enthusiastic, frequently brash and reckless, and sometimes self-absorbed. Youth may be impatient, raring to go without first counting the cost, or believe itself to be invulnerable, choosing to leap – and look afterward. At times it seems the whole world bows down before youth, worshipping at the altar of well-toned muscles, bright eyes, and unbridled ambition. Have you ever seen a TV commercial selling you a product to make you look and feel older?
But the scriptures have a different opinion of the value of youth and the aged. “With the ancient is wisdom,” Job insists, “and in length of days understanding.” Solomon exhorts us to listen to our parents, and not despise them when they get old (Proverbs 23:22). The Apostle Peter commands young people to be in submission to their elders (I Peter 5:5), and the Apostle Paul encouraged the young women to seek and heed the advice of godly older women (Titus 2:3-5).
Moses even connected respect for the aged with a proper understanding of the nature of God. “You shall rise before the gray headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God: I am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19:32) This simple show of outward respect for elders was coupled with the command to fear the Lord. Why? Because children learn to show respect for God, whom they cannot see, by first respecting older people whom they can see.
“No matter how they make you feel, you should always watch elders carefully,” says theologian and author, Kent Nerburn. “They were you and you will be them. You carry the seeds of your old age in you at this very moment, and they hear the echoes of their childhood each time they see you.”

In the episode, “Going Home, Going Home,” Mark is given the amazing gift of a second chance – whether it was a real or in a dream is left up to the audience to decide. From his vantage point of many years Mark was able to comprehend the real value of his aged grandfather, and recognized his own shortsightedness in not fully appreciating him.
Many of us have lost grandparents or parents without ever having taken the time to get to know the stories they have locked inside. For those who still have aged relatives, now is the time to hear their stories, and absorb their wisdom. Experience, it is said, is a harsh teacher, for it first gives the test and then teaches the lesson. How much better it would be to ask for the answer from those who have walked that path before. After all, wisdom is with the ancient and understanding belongs to those who have lived long.
Written by freelance writer Mike Parker (BookPage, CCM, HomeLife, Lifeway.com, ChristianActivities.com), based on the theme of honor from the episode entitled, “Going Home, Going Home” from television legend Michael Landon’s award-winning series, HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN: SEASON ONE.


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