Part of the purpose of talking to you and writing these life lessons is to try and help you find a way to get to the level on enlightenment I am just now experiencing. My goal is to help you and other young people get there much sooner in life than I did. I want to help you avoid wasting a decade or more of your life like I and many others do.
Once I graduated high school I felt like I had the world in my hands. Turns out I was wrong. I lost focus, and instead I let the world around me dictate what I did with my life.
As soon as I was an adult, your grandparents told me I could start making the decision to go to church or not. My first mistake was running like a “bat out of hell” from it. I was so tired of being “forced” to go to church on Sunday, Wednesday night, and any other day there was a church activity. I needed a break. I could finally sleep in, watch football, or do whatever I wanted to.
When I was your age, I was always fearful of the wrath of God. I read stories in the bible and heard sermons of his awesome power. I was scared to be bad. After all, I knew from the bible what happened to those who turned their back on him. It wasn’t good, to say the least. I was a good kid. (Not quite as genuine as you are) I knew what I could get away with. I knew how to turn on the “golden child” act when I needed to.
Once I stopped going to church and started going to college, I discovered that being bad wasn’t always punished like I thought it would be. In fact, it was very fun! I stopped fearing God and instead only used him when I was in a bind. I only prayed when I needed help. I never thanked him during the good times.
Here is an example: It was a Monday morning, the dj on the radio in my car was going over the traffic report. I remember him saying: “its 9am, you are late for work”. I was driving around the block by the house we used to live in when you were born. I must have circled that block at least 20 times. I was shaking and crying. I was a mess. I pulled the car over and started to pray. “Please Lord, if you get me out of this situation I swear I will start going to church again. I promise I will be a better Christian”. I used that exact prayer many times in my life.
I finished praying and finally got the nerve to go home. What had me so distraught? I was about to go home and tell your mom who was 3 months pregnant with you that I had just quit another job, and I didn’t have anything else lined up.
It was only in times like these that I prayed. No, I didn’t start going to church again, and I didn’t become a better Christian like I had promised. Had I kept my relationship with God strong, things would have worked out much differently for me. God did get me through this one, but your mom and I endured 4 months of major stress before I found another job.
Pray every day. Don’t wait for something bad to happen. There is always something or someone you can pray for. You can pray for strength, guidance, or just to say thanks. Ask for his insight when you are faced with difficult decisions.
Part of the problem we have in this country is we don’t ask the right person for help. Our nation’s leaders are not asking for God’s help before they make some of these big decisions our country faces. Instead they and others are relying on their own wisdom and experience. As you can see, that hasn’t worked out so well.
No one can conquer all their problems on their own. Keep God with you. This is the best advice I can give. Those times after high school and before you fully mature will be a big test of your faith. I believe had I kept God with me, I would have understood and fulfilled his plan for me a lot sooner. I wouldn’t have been so stressed out about not knowing what I was going to do with my life.
I love you son. Thanks for going to church with me again today.
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.