If you could go back in time and write a note to yourself ten, maybe twenty years ago, what would you say? Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give to you? What feelings are aroused as you consider yourself all that time ago?
Here’s a few ‘letters to myself’ from people you may have heard of..
‘It is the early Nineties and you are frustrated, exhausted and worried sick. Life at this moment is not great. Yet just a few years ago, you felt like you were the king of the world! ..
Even from a distance of 20 years or so, I still think about you at this time. .. I feel your frustration as you run around like a headless chicken. You are .. shallow and self-obsessed…discernment and perceptiveness will eventually come to you, but it is a long way off…My good advice to you is to take good advice from the right people. The trick, of course, is to know who they are… despite everything, I am quite proud of you’.
Simon Cowell — Full article
‘You hate queuing, you always will, so learn to get everywhere early’.
Lynda La Plante
‘You adore music more than anything in the world, you have a great passion for rock and roll… But that doesn’t mean you have to marry the lead singer of every band you ever had a poster of on your bedroom wall’.
‘Stay in more, keep off the smokes and tell your parents you love them’.
‘don’t try so hard to be liked. The sooner you learn that some people won’t like you, the better. And remember that your opinion is just as valuable as anybody’s. Don’t be embarrassed if you get things wrong. Everybody gets things wrong. Dad was right when he said there’s nothing wrong with failure, only with not trying’.
‘Listen to your mother’
(Read the whole thing here)
As I’ve chatted with friends about this, there are some pieces of advice or feelings that we seem to have in common. Many talk about looking at old photos and wishing they could have seen how beautiful they were, at a time when they felt riddled by insecurity. (Just think, in ten years’ time, that’s how you will feel about yourself right now!) Others highlight the importance of family, of not working too hard, not smoking, exercising more. Of taking more risks, not caring so much what other people think. Of reaching for your dreams, not settling for second best, enjoying the moment.
‘Ah’, we sigh together. ‘How wonderful it would be to take that gauche young teenager aside, to sit down with her, to tell her – yes, life’s going to be hard, but you know what? It’s going to be ok. I can guarantee you a happy ending’.
Of course, we can’t turn back the clock. And we can’t wave a magic wand that’ll transform our frogs into prince, our pumpkins into coaches, our mistakes into opportunities for blessing. And yet –
We have a Lord who can. Yes, following Him is costly and often hard. But He has purchased for us the ultimate happy ending – redemption, a glorious new creation, with no sin or death or mourning or crying. He is the Wonderful Counsellor, who has promised to never leave us and who speaks to and guides us daily, through His word, His Spirit and other believers. We can’t turn back the clock. But our God can and does, redeem ‘the years the locusts have eaten’. With our hands in His, we can dare to live boldly, to take risks, to live in the moment and to have no fear of tomorrow. What a Saviour!