Pssst! Over here – yeah it’s me- the one who looks like I could be your mom. You’re around 20, right? I just really feel the need to tell you something – something that I think could really help you. And actually, it’s a couple of things- but trust me, it’ll be worth your time to listen.
You know, I clearly remember being your age. Time seemed to stretch out in front of me forever… which was scary as well as reassuring. See, I’ve been where you are, but you haven’t been where I’m at…. truly, I just want to help give you a little advice – a few things I wish someone had told me when I was your age.
Most of my life I have regretted not going to college. The reason was dumb: fear. Yep, simple fear. Of what, you ask? I was afraid of not knowing how to navigate my way around a campus. Ha- you laugh, but trust me, it was very real, and I let it stop me. For a long time I have looked at that as one of my bigger regrets in life- but you know, I recently realized – it wasn’t so much missing out on college, although I think I might have been able to learn and do some amazing things if I had gone… It was more the fact that I let Fear stop me from doing something in life. Don’t do that. Don’t let Fear stand in your way of pursuing a dream. You are poised in the doorway of tremendous possibilities – you’re young, healthy, eager and not encumbered yet- this is the time for you to do some wonderful things in life. No, college isn’t for everyone and you can sure build a wonderful life without it. Just don’t let Fear stop you from moving forward in pursuit of some goals.
Next – stay active. You don’t fully realize what a gift your good health is. I know I didn’t. Nurture it, take care of yourself. This is going to sound very Mom-like, but drink lots of water, eat decently and get into regular sleep and exercise habits. Sure take vitamins and fish oil- thats great- but I’m talking about the basics that anyone can afford- sleep, water, regular walks outdoors and a balanced diet like they used to refer to on the Saturday morning cartoons when broccoli and carrots would dance across the screen together…. oh that really is before your time- I was right on the edge of it myself.
Look- basically just take care of your body. It’s the only one you get. Don’t do drugs. Don’t do stupid. God gave you a great start, don’t mess it up.
Let’s see… Oh! This is important- Develop an appreciation for beauty. Yes, I get it that it’s in the eye of the beholder – but I’m talking about appreciating Beauty. It is all around us, but so many people walk right on by without noticing, and it’s not only a shame, I think it’s a loss. Because life is hard. There will be days you are weary or discouraged and even tempted to quit or give up. But the person who has cultivated the ability to see Gods lavishness- his supply, his grace, his very gift of life- that person will be better able to Trust that God has a plan for their life, and it will spur you on in those moments of doubt.
Back to another point before I forget it. You know, you’re old enough now to realize that life can really stink. There are hard things – unfair trials, difficulties and things that just make us shake our heads because they don’t make sense. That’s because we live in a fallen world. It’s not how it began, but with the entrance of sin our world was cursed, and now we have to live with all the fallout from that– heartache and disease, disasters and pain. But don’t buy into the lie that life isn’t worth living. Trust me on this- there will be days when you feel confused and overwhelmed- even despairing- but it Will get better – you keep your head up, and focus on the fact that God loves you and wants to teach us a few things when He allows pain in our lives. Let it grow you into a better person, someone who can empathize with others, someone who allows the journey of life to develop their character and inner strength. God has a plan for you. Keep trusting that, and it will carry you through those hard times.
Another bit of advice – embrace where you’re at. None of us are promised tomorrow. Really squeeze all you can out of today, enjoying it fully, appreciating the good, letting go of the bad, and allowing what you learn to shape you toward the person you will become. Don’t be bitter. Don’t be foolish. Don’t be angry. Be hopeful. Be encouraged. Be who God designed you to be- because I’ve only spent these few minutes with you, and already I can see how special and unique you are with your gifts, talents and abilities – Oh! If only you could see what I see when I look at you! Let God’s plan and purpose for you unfold, and you’ll do fabulous!
Wow… well, there really is so much more that could be said, but I don’t want to put more on you than you’re ready for. We could talk about marriage and children, jobs and money choices–and about 20 other things… there’s a lot ahead for you- but you know; this is enough. For now, this is enough.
Thanks for listening. I hope you feel encouraged and ready to embrace wherever it is that you’re headed…. and in 10 years or so, if you’re still here, and I’m still here, let’s connect again. I’d really like that- and I’m sure I could fill you in on a few more bits of advice that might help you. Take care, my friend. Praying God’s grace over you. ❤