I ran across the blog of Mark Lee, guitarist of Third Day, and one of his posts was “A Letter to Myself at Age 16”. I thought there were some real pearls of wisdom in that letter; things where you read along and go, “yeah . . . yeah . . . that’s a good one, too . . . yeah, I wish I’d known that one . . .”
As I’ve got a son that’s ten years old now–working on twenty-one–I thought this was especially poignant. I want to do my best to drop these little tidbits into our conversations over the coming years. Although, I see more of myself in Mark’s post, not so much my young son, still, he’s gonna make his own mistakes as he grows and someday at somewhere around 40+ he’ll inevitably look back over his life and see his own pathway littered with stumbling blocks and missteps. Hopefully though, in some way I’d like to show him some of the rocks I tripped up on, some of the treacherous terrain where I slipped. Roadmaps are good, a guide is even better. After all, isn’t that part of my job?
Here’s an excerpt from Mark Lee’s post. You can find the whole thing here:
Stand up straight. Your uncle who told you the other day that you slouch too much? He was right. But it’s not just your posture. It’s the whole way you carry yourself. The way you look at yourself. You think that everybody else has it all figured out and you don’t, and you have zero self-confidence as a result. Somewhere along the way you forgot to speak up and now you’re that skinny shy kid who’s missing out on life. It’s taken me decades to realize this, but nobody has it all figured out. We’re all just kind of playing jazz here. Stand tall and speak up.
It is OK to be smart. For the last couple of years you haven’t applied yourself in school, because you hate being singled out. Give it your all, not because grades matter, but because the habits you are forming now will stay with you. You put things off, ergo I put things off. You talk but don’t do. I talk but don’t do. Let’s fix that one, shall we?
You have a lot of questions about God. You have a lot of doubts that are based on what you see other people who call themselves Christians are doing. Take all those doubts and questions and give them to God. He can handle it, and you will be better for it. Remember when you were younger and you loved reading the Bible and going to church because it meant spending more time with God? That’s what it’s all about. You will try to make it more complicated than that, and it doesn’t need to be. Just let go,trust God, and build a relationship with him. You will thank yourself for it.