I know you think that you’ll play Major League Baseball for the Red Sox and also be a .400 hitter, but you’ll throw your arm out in 9th grade and need shoulder surgery in your 50’s. I know it’s a bummer, but it’s probably better that you know about it now. And the whole Astronaut thing? Walking on the Moon will be replaced with a Space Station. Can you, even at your young age imagine hanging out in space for months at a time? I didn’t think so.
You are going to have a most interesting life. You’ll make a lot of money, lose it, make it again, and lose it all. Don’t worry about that because the Divine is going to use it for your good and for His glory. Pretty cool, huh?
I’d pay close attention to these four lessons that you will either learn the hard way or the wise way. You get to choose, but this is really important and you don’t want to go through the heartache that I’ve caused myself.
- You are a little odd! So be yourself and enjoy your diverse thoughts. Don’t try to fit in. Don’t worry about fads, fashion, fame or fortune. These will never bring you joy. They will never leave you with life-long friends or bring you peace, freedom or happiness. Enjoy how the Divine created you. You’re a good athlete, so play hard and play to win. That was so much fun! You have a lot of friends. Be cautious with a few of them. They mean no good to you. You’ll have a high school coach tell you that “if you stand in a barn long enough, you’ll come out smelling like it.” We all knew what that “it” was. It was simply missing two letters. You like art, but that might not seem cool to you yet – do it anyway. If you wait until you’re 50, you will have missed so much fun. You love fishing, so go fishing every chance you get. Fish like your grandfather, Charlie Allen taught you. Be sure to take Dad along. He loves to fish, but he finished his life having missed so much as he served the church.
- Start making a time of Prayer and Meditation a daily habit. Get in the routine of experiencing The Holy Scriptures, speaking with the Divine and centering your soul on Him and only Him. I promise you that those 15 minutes a day will put your life on a healthy and prosperous path. Don’t wait! Start now!!
- Develop a healthy spirit of gratitude and generosity. When you are grateful for what you have, you’ll give God a reason to trust you with more. That’s not always in the form of money, but it is very tangible. When you give all that you can, to the point that it costs you something, you have put yourself in a position to receive God’s richest Blessings. Don’t wait until you think you can. Start right now. You can always make more money when it’s lost, but you cannot make more time. Determine to intentionally focus on making your life fun, peace-filled, adventurous, and impactful. Take time to celebrate your life. Work at being healthy, and work on being happy. Plan to leave the biggest possible footprint on this earth before you leave for a stroll on streets of gold.
- Always place your family as your highest priority, right behind the Divine. Embrace your parents. They are what you will miss most in your 40’s and 50’s. You will, over the course of your life see family as a fun-filled treasure of kids, more kids, grandkids, and son-in-laws. Pace yourself, you will have six daughters, once you blend your family. Four daughters driving at the same time and four daughters in college at the same time. I know! Hard to believe, isn’t it? You’ll have seasons when you think that it can’t get any worse. Don’t let those challenging seasons dictate your time with family. Travel, play, laugh, worship and celebrate together and as often as possible. At about 55, you’ll look back and remember all the times that you were “there” or all the times you had “wished you were there.” I pray that you’ll be able to look back over your years and never have to say, “I wish I would have.” As to your parents, they are great people. Set your course on following Mom in being a person with a kind and loving soul. Follow Dad as he will show you how to build anything, fix anything, and love the church. Dad will pass away in the peacefulness of his home. Mom will experience death from a broken heart. You’ll need to be there for her. She’s going to need a lot of help from you. The family is a gift from the Lord. Love them and lead them with much prayer, consistent direction, and patience. The only real regret that I have at 57 is that I spent far too much time trying to please so many people that I often failed my own family. Don’t make that mistake!
I’ll send another letter in a week or so but heed these lessons. Take them and engrave them on your soul. Keep Proverbs 3:1 before you daily.
Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing. Remember, you aren’t the MAIN THING!
Your Older, Wiser Self, AChuck
Oh yeh, you now have an “A” in front of your nickname. Long story for another day!