Message To My Older Self

If I could roll back time a little, what would my older self say to my younger self? That’s the premise of this short video. I also try to predict what I’ll want to say a few years hence…

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What was one thing when you were younger that you thought was going to be really important, but turned out not to be?

The stop, drop and roll rule. I mean when you’re a kid, you think that’s going to play a huge role in your life. You realize that it probably doesn’t.

What was one thing you didn’t think was that important that turned out to be really important?

I think family devotions would be one of those. I had grown up in a family that did devotions. I remember doing it every night. I’m sure, like our family, it was actually more sporadic than that through the ebb and flow of life. But, I think I saw that, I kind of understood it as a child, but I think as an adult who’s now doing family devotions, I think I see more of the unifying factor. That it really does draw a family together, and of course it does. You’re hearing from God and speaking to God together. And so, family devotions have never attained that kind of mystical feeling I thought they would give us. I’ve never felt like we’re doing it amazingly well or that we’ve absolutely nailed this discipline. But by doing it day after day, committing to it, playing the long game, trusting that over time it works, I think I’ve really seen how it draws our family together, plays a very important role in the spiritual development of our children. And if nothing else, it shows that as a family, we really do put Jesus first, we really do believe that as a family there’s nothing better that we can do than to be together before the Lord.

Then, I also want to talk about the quick passage of time. I think you hear this from older people all the time, you get it from books like Ecclesiastes. I mean, time goes by quick. And when you’re young, you hear that, and I don’t think you really believe it. Now I look at an 18-year-old child and think, what happened to those years? Where did that time go? What have I done with that time?

So, then just looking back at those small investments of taking the kids out for breakfast. Every Saturday, taking one out, spending a few minutes. The, hey, come along with me as I do this chore, come along with me as I do this speaking trip, whatever. Just getting kids involved in your life, very small things usually, but in the end, creating significant moments. So, be aware of that, that very quick passage of time and how quickly it goes by and how much joy and some regret comes with that.

What encouragement would you want to give your 50 year old self?

So, I’m 41 now. So, we’re looking 9 or 10 years in the future. What would I say, what do I think I would be saying to myself then? I think so much will be, stay the course, finish strong. Ever since I was a child, I’ve looked forward to growing older because I’ve wanted what age brings. Largely the wisdom, the experience, the maturity that it brings. And I still feel that. I think turning 40, that transition from 39 to 40 was big in my life because I understood that no matter how we measure it, I’m no longer young. I’m now in that second half of people, that second group of people who are supposed to look toward the younger people, turn my attention there. Which means I ought to be modeling godliness in a very significant way. There’s no longer any excuse for immaturity. So, 10 years hence, I think, even more, that will be the case. Model maturity, be godly and then finish strong. Look more and more to the end of the race. Make sure I’m, in a sense like a good runner, holding something back so that I can finish strong across the finish line. That’s my hope, that’s my desire, that’s my goal, that’s my constant prayer.