Each time I hear Mercy Me’s song, “Dear Younger Me,” I am inspired. That song just never gets old, and for months I’ve been jotting down things I’d say to myself if I could write a letter to a 10-year-old me, and maybe even a 15-year-old me……….and a 20-year-old me. And yes, a 25, and 30, and 35-year-old me. This past weekend someone actually challenged me to just do it. I glanced at some of the notes I’d written down for if and when I ever got around to it, but that’s all I did.
Today, however, someone inspired me. And, well…. we’ll just leave it at that.
I don’t have an alphabet’s worth of credentials after my name (except maybe for my Master’s Degree from the School of Hard Knocks), and certainly I’m no expert on life. However, I’ve ran around a few blocks in my day (some more than once), and would like to think I have picked up at least a few nuggets of wisdom. Here’s a few…..
Parents aren’t perfect. They didn’t know what they were doing with you any more than you know what you’re doing with yours. We learn as we go (or learn as we grow!) Give them grace. You’re going to want your kids to give it to you too.
Slow down. Life is not a competition. Don’t let ambition keep you from enjoying the journey.
People only know what you tell them. Don’t tell them everything. Some people don’t actually have your best interest in mind.
Don’t talk about people behind their back. It’s not nice. And, you wouldn’t want people talking about you behind yours.
Your credentials, your zip code, and your bank account don’t make you a better person than a homeless beggar. We ALL have something to teach each other.
Smell the roses. The people God puts in your life are like roses. Enjoy them. One day, they could be gone when you least expect it.
Enjoy the drive home from work. Make your home a place you can’t wait to get home to, but the drive home a good long talk with God that you don’t want to end.
Don’t put so many things on your schedule that you wake up one day and feel like you don’t know those with the closest DNA to yours.
Be nice to people. It’s really not that hard. Your kids are going to behave just like you one day, and treat people the very same way they see you treat people. Set a good example. They are a reflection of you.
Forgive. If you are holding forgiveness from someone (and people don’t have to be sorry for you to forgive them), then it’s you who is suffering. Grace really IS amazing.
Ask forgiveness. Yep, it can be really hard to do, but it feels REALLY GOOD…… (Oh, and it’s the right thing to do).
Be humble. Admit when you’re wrong. Realize you never stop learning, and you can learn something valuable from every single human being you have the privilege to encounter.
Get over yourself.
Love big. Give big. Don’t hoard anything, especially yourself. Take risks, even with your heart. Maybe even especially with your heart. But don’t let anyone take advantage of you. Learn safe boundaries. Learn to listen to those around you who know you best and love you most. Consider their advice wisely.
Rest. Be alone. Read a good book – not an electronic one. A good old-fashioned book that smells like a library from the 1960’s.
Go to the fair.
Realize everyone sets an example. Some set good examples, and others set really good BAD examples (like how NOT to treat others.) We can learn equally from both. (We also have the capability to set both kinds of examples).
Watch old movies.
Laugh every chance you get.
Never, ever, ever be afraid to pray in front of someone.
Never have a hurtful last conversation with someone. It might be the last time you see them or get to hear their voice, or see their face, or hug them.
Your hair is going to get gray, or maybe you are going to go bald. So what!
Your face is going to wrinkle. You might lose your pretty figure. Gravity WILL take over. So what!
Enjoy your friends. Take trips. Tell people you love them – even when you’re telling them you’re mad at them. Still – tell them you love them and they matter to you!
Encourage people. And get some encouragers around you!
I haven’t got a clue how to cleverly end this, except to do so as if it were an ordinary entry in my private journal. And more than likely edit it (or finish it) tomorrow 😉
With that being said…….goodnight. 😉