I’m finishing up Prayers from The Water’s Edge this week. I have a dozen or so pieces of prose and poetry too. This is one of them.
Benjamin and David –
My life is most likely half over. Maybe a lot more than half over. Perhaps a little less. I wrote this letter to myself and I am sharing it with you so that you can learn from my mistakes and from the wisdom I have picked-up along the way. Revisit this from time to time. The words on the paper won’t change, but your lives will:
Don’t let fear overwhelm you. You have missed too many shots because you haven’t taken them. Don’t be stupid and gamble, but take some risks. Don’t be afraid of failing. Failing has a lot more to do with not trying than not succeeding. Most all successes are at the end of a road paved with set-backs.
Each day you have many choices how to invest your time and energy. You usually won’t choose between right and wrong, but good and better. Sometimes you will need to say “no” to good things so that you can say “yes” to better things. Those better things are God and your family and friends. Spend your best time and energy with the people you love the most. Give your life to them and receive life from them. Spend time and energy doing what you enjoy doing most. Work hard, but make things like rest and play and idleness and exploring an important part of your life.
Be intentional in growing your relationship with God. You are His beloved. This relationship will help you with every other relationship and all other areas of your life. God will form you into a person who is more balanced, more focused, more centered, and more at peace. Your relationship with God is the only relationship you will have that will last forever.
Accept God’s grace. It is a gift. Be more loved by God and loving to yourself and others. Live as one who is forgiven by God and forgiving of others. Forgive yourself too. Learn from your mistakes. Don’t beat yourself up over them. Treat others like you want to be treated. Words are so powerful. Use them wisely. Encourage and bless others with your speech. Listen well. Listen to understand others. Don’t listen so that you can respond to others. Be patient. Be kind. Don’t ever let anger get the best of you.
Be yourself. Don’t try to be somebody you are not. Don’t compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to who you were yesterday. Don’t think the past or current scenes of your life make up the entire movie. Keep writing the script of your once-to-be-lived and never-to-be-repeated life. Enjoy the journey and finish strong.
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. –Joshua 1:9