I’ve read some interesting blogs recently about things people wish they knew when they were younger. One blog had the clever title of “21 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 21.” Those blogs got me thinking of things I wish I knew when I was younger. Here’s my list of ten things I wish I knew when I was 21.

  1. Faithfulness is better than talent. I learned that lesson the hard way. I needed a lead guitar player for our church’s worship band. One young man was available to play every Sunday. He was good, but still a little rough around the edges. I wanted our church band to be the best in town, so I recruited another young man who was extremely talented. I politely informed the other young man that I no longer needed him in the band. Trouble started immediately.  The talented guitar player wasn’t reliable. After not showing up for several services in a row, I called and asked him, “Are you going to play for us or not?” He told me he was no longer interested in playing in our church band and could not make a commitment. I immediately called the other guitar player and asked him to come back, but he was hurt that I had replaced him and he had joined another church band in the meantime. I learned the valuable lesson that faithfulness is better than talent. The “not-as-good” guitar player developed into an excellent musician and he would have never missed a Sunday service. Choosing someone with talent and who is faithful would be the ideal choice, but if I had to choose only one, it would be faithfulness.
  2. Honor and value all people. I had no problem honoring “important” people, especially people who had influence and could possibly advance my agenda. However, if I could do it over, I would have honored and valued all people at all times. Even those who are considered un-honorable. Every person is special to God and that makes them valuable. I wish I had learned early in life to treat everyone with honor and dignity.
  3. Education. Not just getting a degree or two, but really learning. I have a couple college degrees and I have made learning a lifelong pursuit, but I wish I had taken advantage of every single educational opportunity and not let the cost or time requirements stop me. I should have striven to pursue as much quality education as possible.
  4. Fear has the power to paralyze your life, but only if you allow it. It’s a self-imposed prison. Fear prevented me from doing many things that I now wish I had done. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself, “Don’t be afraid,” or “If you are afraid, do it anyway.”
  5. Your spouse and children are precious gifts from God. I’ve come to realize that getting blessed with a spouse and children is like receiving a delicate and valuable tea cup; which should be handled with care. Only a fool would take a fine piece of china and throw it around, allow it to get dirty, let it sit out for someone to steal or damage, and treat it like a common Styrofoam cup. Handle with care.
  6. Spiritual health is of utmost importance, but physical health cannot and should not be ignored. It would have saved me a lot of grief and unnecessary pain if I would have taken my health more serious, even at a young age. Once I asked my 93 year old grandfather what was his secret for a long life. He shook his head and replied, “If I knew I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” At the time his statement didn’t make sense to me―now it makes perfect sense.
  7. Simple Kindness. It doesn’t cost anything to give, yet those who receive it feel like a million bucks. Mark Twain said,” Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
  8. An Attitude of Gratitude can change your life. An attitude of entitlement can ruin your life. I wish I had learned the power of practicing thankfulness early on.
  9. Perseverance. Not my strong suit as a young man. When the going got tough, I got going! I should have “hung in there” more. I really think my life would have been richer in every way for doing so.
  10. If I could go back in time I would shout to myself, “Calm down!” I would tell myself over and over, “Relax dude. Let go and let God.”

One comment on “TenThings

  1. April Ryan says:

    That is so true!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s