For many of us, our youth is gone. While we comfort ourselves by remaining ‘young at heart’, the reality is we have spent the vigor of our youth.
What did we spend it on? Was it worth it? If we could go back, would we re-direct ourselves? Imagine if you could, having 15 minutes with your 18yr old self. There you are, looking at a spry, blissfully ignorant, wrinkle free face. What do you tell yourself?
You soon realize your younger self isn’t really getting it. That this vital life altering information is something they will just have to figure out on their own – experience is the ultimate teacher. Only life itself can teach the lasting lessons.
Your older self has grown through hardship, we value relationships through trial and error. Life becomes the gift that it is only after you experience loss, and face your sobering inevitability.
Instead of warning my younger self (or telling him to invest in Google), I’m going to give him a verse from Ecclesiastes chapter 11:9 – and pray it sinks in.
Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.
Go for it young person. Don’t hold back. But remember, in the end, after all your pursuing and attempted conquering in this life, there will be a moment where God will reconcile all things. The injustices in this world, the flamboyant rebellion, the denial of eternal realities – they will be addressed in His perfect court. But so will you.
You too younger self. Your life is recorded in the divine hard-drive of God’s memory. He has given you all things pertaining to life and godliness. He has given you His Word for instruction, His Spirit for help, and His Son for forgiveness. Walk humbly, don’t waste your life.
Today I turn 39. Yesterday for the first time since getting married almost 19yrs ago, Deb and I watched our wedding video. It was moving. I wanted to reach through the screen and talk to my younger self. I barely recognized him. It’s inspired me to make the next 20yrs count, if the Lord will grant them. Soon they will be over, and soon we shall stand before Him – Help me to live today with anticipation towards that day.
Bruce & Deborah Crowe
Missionaries | Ukraine