Dear 80-Year Old Me,
Wow! You have made so many stupid decisions, it’s amazing that you are still alive! Based on that picture, which has added 30 years to your face, the last few years have been pretty rough. But, since you are, here some things that I really pray have happened in your life since you were in your 50’s:
- I sure pray that you learned how to spend a lot of quality time with Jenny. She’s been so good to you. She has loved you through thick and thin, much and little, healthy and sickly, happy and depressed. Remember, you once said that she had rescued you? She still is. In 2007 she rescued you from a crash and burn season of your life. In 2017, she is still rescuing you, well, from you. If you keep trying to serve her and love her, she’ll still want to walk on the beach with you and laugh together. That would be worth fewer church evenings, or counseling appointments, wouldn’t it?
- You know that feeling you used to get when your grandkids would run to you with a big smile when they saw you? I hope they still do. You’ll need to do some soul searching and some serious prioritization, or you’ll be living the story in Harry Chapin’s song, “Cats in the Cradle.” William, your oldest grandchild will now be 27-years-old. If you’ve made your grandkids a priority, he will still want to come to Pop’s house, fish with Pop, and maybe bring his little boy to go see the Braves play together. That would be worth a little adjustment, wouldn’t it?
- Your Mom, Dad, and three of your Grandparents passed away before 75. If you’ve eaten less, moved more, and kept hiking, you should be in pretty good health at 80. If not, what the heck? You knew not eating right would catch up with you. You knew you had to keep moving. So, according to numbers 1 and 2 above, you want to spend quality time with Jenny on the beach, and fish and still play with grandkids. Please tell me you listened to Dr. E and got your health together. If not, you’ll never read this.
- When you sensed in 2017 that this was your season to push all the chips to the center of the table and courageously seek to leave a big imprint on this universe, you did it. How cool to look back and see that the Divine did everything He said He would do if you just listened and acted on His will and direction for your life! You have had the privilege to preach to thousands, serve the hurting, encourage hundreds of thousands and left your church in a great position to be a House of Prayer, a Haven of Hope and Encouragement in your community, changed the trajectory of the local church, schools, and municipality to serve together and break the cycle of poverty in your part of this big world. Hundreds of marriages have been saved or strengthened through your ministry. Oh yeah, and that little project to help marginalized kids to be loved, fed, mentored and coached? Thousands of them have now completed high school, and are in colleges, military service, or serving in a field that contributes the greater good of mankind. Guess what? They also came to faith in Christ and are giving back to your community.
- Those books that you talked about writing? Pretty cool – you did it! In 2016, you started writing a BLOG. That’s probably super-old-technology by now, but you were used by the Divine to encourage a few million people with your words. You anger several thousand, but you never pandered to a certain crowd. You wrote from the heart, without concern for popular opinion, or preferred orthodoxy. It was worth the late nights sitting at the kitchen counter sharing what the Divine was feeding into your soul.
- One last thing, you’ll probably hear from me again. This is just the start of a few things that you should remember about how the Divine actually used you in His redemptive plan for mankind.
I’ll “chat” with you soon, but stay fun- don’t become a grumpy old man filled with “I wish I would haves.” And please, be able to look back and never ever have to utter these words; “I wish I would have ____________.”
Stay Cool, You Old AChuck
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