I had a back-to-the-future-moment cross my mind the other day. What if I could tell myself some things from the future? Of course there is no guarantee that I will live another day. But should I have the privilege of living until I am 80 years old, what kinds of things would I want to have done now to make my life full at that age? Here’s a list of 9 things:
Learn Scripture: I once heard a retired preacher who, instead of reading the scripture for the morning worship service, he said it from memory. I’ve have bits and pieces memorized, but I think it will have been easier to memorize now than later. Scripture is true and pure wisdom.
Pray A lot: God’s work through prayer knows no bounds. The time line is incomprehensible to us. What if your prayers now matter for the way life will be – for the people in my family, for the work I will have done, for the ministry that will be happening. You need to be praying now.
Stay Faithful: The news channels make it seem that Godliness, Scripture, Morality and Decency are out the window – agreed upon by the whole nation. Don’t buy it. You will be much happier looking back on your life to see faithfulness – to Suzanne, to the church and to Jesus. Don’t give up.
Be Money Wise: Keep it simple and keep practicing good stewardship. And put as much money away as you can now. It’s interesting, you spend decades collecting stuff, only to walk around the house trying to figure out how to get rid of it.
Be Generous. Generosity will be something you don’t think much of until you are toward the end of life. We hold on to money and things so much more tightly than we need to. Giving is something that makes a difference in your life, in the way people see your life, and in the life of the recipient of your generosity!
Don’t Burn Bridges: There are people you currently know that you will still be around when you are an 80 year old. And though time may heal any damaging words and bad attitudes, why needlessly have that past? Don’t talk bad about people. Love them. Build friendships. And have a reputation of loving life with others.
Love Your Wife: Face life together. Have stories about which you can laugh together. Never run out of conversation. Hug. And pay attention.
Give Your Daughters Love, Attention and Grace: These three things, even without anything else, will help shape them into women of God. Build in their young lives now, a desire to follow Christ, based on your example in their lives.
Invest in Experiences: I don’t want to get to the end of the line and wish I had done this or that. Trinkets, electronics, gadgets and other tangibles all have a relatively short life span – but memories and experiences will last a lifetime. Find ways now to invest in them – little ones each day, medium ones each month and big ones each year. Learn to live in the day… not in the future. It’s easy to take it day by day when you get older, but I sure could see the benefit of living that way when you’re young too.
Hang in there!