Hmmm....I come without a specific topic in mind, so let's see what develops.
Ten Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Life...But I Learned Anyway! ;-D
1. You want to want to share Christ? Start doing it. The more you share, the more you care.
2. It's your expectations that set you up for disappointment. It's okay to consider how things might turn out, but hold your hands open before the Lord on everything so that changes don't require prying your hands open in order to release your expectations. That's where the pain is.
3. Growing older is a really good thing. Our society values youth, but I don't see that being a God-value. What God values is wisdom, and while He offers it liberally when we ask, it is more naturally a by-product of age. A little life experience goes a long, long way. And my observation is that age tends to produce people willing to ask for wisdom, as James instructs us to do.
4. Your teenage/high school years are NOT 'the time of your life'!!! What idiot started this rumor? Your teen and pre-teen years are some of the most challenging years you'll ever have, as you try to sort out who you are, what you believe, what you're doing here on planet earth... Very trying years, if you ask me. Personally, I'm loving my thirties!
5. Most things of value don't come naturally to you--you have to work on/for them. I was naturally good in school, so somewhere I came up with the idea that the good things in life were the things at which you were good. Uh...No. Anyone with a little life behind them knows that this is not true. (I just caught myself shaking my head at the computer to emphasize my point! LOL!) Honestly, it wasn't until I began to observe who really had a good handle on life and who didn't that I figured this one out.
6. You can do more, learn more, and work harder than you ever thought you could. In C.S. Lewis' book The Horse & His Boy, part of the Chronicles of Narnia series, there are a pair of escaping, talking horses which think they are running as fast as they can...until a lion begins to chase them. Suddenly, there is more sprint in them than they thought possible. It turns out that this little extra motivation actually ended up saving them and their riders, but the real lesson is: you've got more in you than you think. Now, may God never have to send a lion after you for you to test this out!
7. You limit yourself more than you are actually limited. Okay, this is probably going to seem silly, but... For years, I thought I wasn't smart enough to learn chess. You know, chess is a smart person's game! And that is true, but it's not exclusively for the brilliant. I tried to figure it out in high school, and when it didn't come to me naturally (see #5 above), I just assumed that I wasn't smart enough. Well three years ago, a friend was trying to learn to play with her new husband, so we jumped in the boat together, and... Uh, yeah, turns out that not only can I play chess, but that I really enjoy it! It wasn't a real limitation that kept me from learning to play chess for 20 years, it was my perception of it. (I will also add that this set off a learning spree in me, where--so far--I have added painting, crochet, knitting, and use of basic household power tools to my newly-learned list! Sewing, here I come! And maybe pottery shaping. And I'd like to learn to work on my car, and woodworking, and...any suggestions?)
8. God really does use the weak & foolish things of this world to confound the 'wise'. Do you know who I really love to be around? People who really understand how great their sin is and how great a Savior their God is. Broken, yet healed people who know how great a healer their Jesus is. People who have or are hurting, who can see the kingdom of God through a lens I do not possess. It is these who really connect to their God, and who help me to connect too.
9. Even in the darkest places in your life, God is there. People do tell us this one, but we can't really believe it until we have cause to test this one out. But it is true. There is no place in this world or in your head where God is inaccessible. He sustains even when it seems you are in free-fall. Even when you cease to feel His presence, He is there. It is a gift we cannot refuse, though we can refuse to engage it. But irregardless of our response...God is there. Don't be afraid of the hard, dark, scary things in this life. I--and more importantly God--promise(s) you, God is there.
10. The Christian walk is better and harder than you can imagine at the beginning. Steven Curtis Chapman has a line in one of his songs that says something to the effect that, "This road that leads to heaven, it will not be the easy way." That is a true statement. The life of a disciple is characterized by discipline, both internal and external. It is a life of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. But it is ALSO the most beautiful, glorious, hopeful, wonderful journey offered to anyone, anywhere, at any time in the history of the universe. It is hard, but it is worth e.v.e.r.y moment. Don't take my word for it. Try it.
Well, that's all the attempt at wise words I can muster for today. I hope you will share your thoughts on "Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Life." After all, We're all in this together.