When I was in college, (or when I was supposed to be in college) I used to tell my buds that I would be lucky to make it to 40 with what we put our bodies through night after night. I made a bet with Abe, my good friend’s dad. He said he was going to live longer than me. I thought he was nuts, kind of.
I am still here! I know why. I have a purpose. There is a plan.
This week I was reminded that life is in the journey, not the prize I was seeking as a result. I realized I started getting back into bad habits by thinking and stressing about tomorrow.
Then, the switch flipped. I started to remember how great every day was when I was living in the moment. I woke up the next day and started over.
You can’t worry about tomorrow. Stress is a killer. That is probably the reason that deep down I am surprised I made it to my 40s. Deep down I wasn’t going to be surprised if Abe won the bet. I put my body through a lot of stress from age 18-40something.
Live each day like it is your last. All it takes is consistent prayer and faith. Then, sit back and watch God work in your life.
Read my blog if you want to see what it has done for me.
Happy to be alive!
Son, here is what has happened since a little over a week ago when I told you I was done writing my advice for you. First off, I had been looking forward to Father’s Day weekend for weeks. It was fun but I was a dud, my mind was elsewhere. I missed 2 days of work last week, and I skipped going to church on Sunday. I went almost a full day before praying, and I started to feel stressed and unsure of what I was supposed to do.
Maybe the change I thought I needed was wrong. Maybe I am just not ready for that next step. Maybe I just needed a week away doing nothing to realize I can’t stop my current mission, or I risk going back to my old ways.
It is time to get myself back on track and see what happens. It’s time to get back to just opening myself up and being patient with God’s plan for me. I spent my entire day off yesterday playing online poker and watching back to back hobbit movies. I didn’t do one thing to help myself, you, or others. The idea I had about taking it to the next level I believe will happen someday, but it sure doesn’t feel like it is this day.
I couldn’t think of one thing to write about all last week. However, last night when I was 5 minutes in to watching the sermon I missed last Sunday, I had to pause it to write this. This is no joke son, God is so powerful! I know I need to be “all in” to receive the help and inspiration he gives me.
I felt like a loser all week. I have to do whatever I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. It starts with church today. Let’s see how this week goes.
I love you more than anything son!
P.S. This may all sound familiar, but notice one important difference: It’s only been a week, not several weeks, months, or years.
Son, I am so lucky we didn’t have the technology there is today when I was young. Had there been video of the things I said and did when I was a young man, people would have been extremely disappointed in me. This is why I am also very grateful I did not have the success I wanted at a young age. Just like the Biebs, most of us have said things we shouldn’t have when we were young. Although this is no excuse for his words or behavior, we must look at ourselves first. Have any of us led the perfect mistake-free life? Are we the ones who should be judging others?
To pull out a video 5 years old seems a little much. Although I think he is still immature, I imagine he was much more so 5 years ago. Son, remember it is not about how you start off, but how you finish. As much as Justin and I would like to change things from our past, we can’t. The only thing you can have control of is right now.
Let’s give the kid a break. Take a look at yourself first, and don’t judge others. If you disagree with someone’s behavior or what you see on TV, just tune it out.
Although being young is not an excuse to behave inappropriately or go against God’s wishes, it is the most likely time the pressures to do so will be there. This is why I am trying so hard to help teach you how to avoid it.
Love you son,
1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Son, lying comes natural to all of us; it doesn’t have to be taught or learned by watching others do it. If you take most 2 year olds and ask them if they were the ones who did something bad, they deny it, even when the proof is staring right at them. We are all born with the capacity to lie; it is much easier than telling the truth a lot of times. I must have been born with a double dose; I was the best at it. I would lie when I was younger, but eventually the truth would come out. As I got older I could lie and cover it up so well that I believed it in my own head. I had lies that no one would ever know about.
There are still lies that I have not admitted to yet, stupid ones that I know would be ok if I owned up to them now, but it is still hard. Lies end up snowballing and getting bigger and bigger as time goes by. They can get so big; that the original reason you lied is pale in comparison to the hole you dug yourself into keeping up with the lie. I was so good at it, I didn’t have many snowball on me. However, I felt it inside. The guilt became unbearable. In essence the guilt got bigger and bigger until I could barely live with myself. I got mad at others for questioning my lies. I resented anyone who would call me on my bluff. I would tell myself I would prove it to them by never ever owning up to it. The guilt over some stupid little mistake I made overwhelmed me. I became defensive. I became miserable. Had I just owned up to my mistake in the first place things would have been much better. I believe this is one of the many ways God tries to teach us a lesson.
Now, it wasn’t like I was hiding the fact I murdered someone or cheated on a loved one. Still, after years of hiding it and trying to remember which story I told which person, it became exhausting. Because I believe in God and his awesome power to know exactly what I was doing, I felt the guilt deep inside. I felt like a fake. I would have people ask me about things and would struggle to remember because what I told them wasn’t true. The truth is ALWAYS easy to remember.
No matter how mad you think I will be with you, please tell me the truth. I will be more upset that you lied than I will be at whatever you are trying to cover up. Admit your mistakes, no matter how foolish or embarrassing you think they may be. Remember, you can hide the truth from others, but you can’t hide it from yourself or God. The angst and misery you will feel down the road are much more stressful than had you just admitted you were wrong. Lies are why a lot of people end up alcoholics or drug addicts. The pain of the guilt becomes so bad they seek any way to forget about it. Drugs and alcohol can dull that pain for a while, but they can’t take it away. Someday you will read about all my lies, and the ways I used to cover up the guilt I had. I just hope you will take away some learning from it. I hope it will help you avoid the same pitfalls I experienced.
I love you so much son, you mean more to me than anything! That is no lie!
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
I woke up that hot summer day, sweating like crazy on my pillow. Did the a/c go out? Why am I so hot?
Turns out I was sleeping in the garage. No, I wasn’t sleeping in a car or on the garage floor, I was in my bed.
These are the things great mothers do when they are trying to teach their punk kid a lesson.
I Love you Mom!
(This isn’t a picture of the actual bed, but you get the idea)
Son, let me tell you about the word “spin”. I grew up in sales. Every job I had involved selling something. I was taught about spin at an early age. Highlight the positives, and de-emphasize or don’t mention the negatives. I was using it on your grandparents when I was a teenager. I found out that I was a natural at it. I’m not bragging, but I was probably one of the best at it. To me spin was a way of not having to lie, but still get people to buy into what you were trying to convince them to do. When I was younger I used it all the time to get your grandma to let me do something, or get something I wanted. It didn’t work as well on your grandpa. I also used it to get out of things. I used it to postpone having to cut the grass, and I used it when I came home at 2am and your Grandpa was waiting up for me to find out why the police came to our house earlier that night. I used it to get out of work, and I used it to try and convince your mom to date me. (She never really fell for it either)
I realize now, spinning is lying. It was just a creative way of doing it. Had anyone really took the time to dig into my claims, they would have caught me. I also realized after a lifetime of using spin, I started to believe it myself. Today’s world is all about spin. The media puts a spin on everything. You never know what is actually true anymore. The administration in Washington and our current President are some of the best spin doctors I have ever seen. Politicians on both sides have been using it for years. Again, the problem is sooner or later it will catch up to you. The truth always comes out. It is much better to be honest with people. You will earn much more respect that way. Dig deep and find out the true story, don’t get caught up in the spin that is being sold out there. Question those you feel are misleading you.
Straight for Webster’s dictionary:
Spin: Slang. to cause to have a particular bias; influence in a certain direction: His assignment was to spin the reporters after the president’s speech.