I’m thrilled to participate in Blog Month for Compassion again this year. As a part of our commitment we are given assignments throughout the month of September to reflect and respond to. The purpose of the writing assignments is “to create interesting and somewhat challenging writing prompts to get our minds energized and spark some creativity.” It also gives us the opportunity to introduce our readers to sponsoring a child.
Our first assignment came this morning with this simple prompt: “What Would You Say to Your Childhood Self?”
Dear Childhood Self,
Although it’s strange to be writing to you, I sure wish there was a way that I could have done this and you could have read it. There have been a lot of lessons on my journey. Some were tougher than others but all were valuable for what they taught me. To keep this letter brief, I’ll save you a lot of those details. Let’s start with one important thing though…sorry man, you won’t be a rock star. Unless something miraculous happens in the next few years, that career in music just isn’t going to happen. Love the music. Live the songs, but dude….you’re never going to be on tour. Sorry.
I’ve enclosed a picture and now that you’re over the shock, this is as good as it gets. Those hairstyles you’re dying to try out, by all means, let it happen. Spike it, buzz it, put lines in it and moose it up. One day, much sooner than you think, it will begin to go away. Live up those hairstyles and try the latest trends. It gets kind of boring around age 23. Get a set of clippers. You’ll thank me later.
On a more serious note, love your mom. I know there are lessons that she’s teaching you that seem frustrating. I know you roll your eyes when she asks if “you’ve prayed about it” when it comes to advice, but believe me, she’s right. Throughout your life you will meet people you swear have a direct line of prayer and I’m telling you now, your mom is one of them. She’ll teach you how to treat a lady and she’ll leave you laughing. She’ll be there when it hurts and she’ll allow you to test your wings. Mom won’t be there as long as you hope, dream and wish so make sure you enjoy this time. There will be days when you’d give anything to have them back.
If you’re looking for hope, let me give you some great news. Self, you are going to learn what it means to “Marry Up.” As a matter of fact, you might be the Club President one day. Your marriage and the 3 children God will bless you with will blow your mind. They will save you from yourself and be the rock in your life. You’ll do your best to lead them, but I’ll give you a secret, they’ll be leading you. They will be the safe place when you get battered and bruised. This part turns out really cool and should be worth all of the messy relationships along the way.
My best advice to you, self, are two simple words….relationships and people. There is no greater thing which you should spend the rest of your time on this earth investing in. Just like the stock market, some investments will go bad, they just will. However the greatest investment you can make is in people. The relationships that you form will provide a return that money simply cannot buy. The people in your life will forever be the words on the pages of the story you write. They are NOT just cast members, they are the story. You’re just the extra. Value relationships. Fight for relationships and people that can’t or won’t fight for themselves. Trust me on this. Bet on people. Every. Single. Time.
Also, know that you are here for a purpose. Know that God meant it when he said that you were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” While you won’t lead a rock band, you can lead wherever you’re planted. You’re purpose on this earth won’t come in an envelope. You will spend every day of your life learning what it is (tip: I still don’t know). The learning and the seeking is what makes each day awesome. God wired you for relationship and community. Chase it.
Last but not least, learn the art of sacrificial giving early. You’ll never be rich (sorry) by the worlds standards, but the relationships you gain and what you give will be far more valuable. If you can help, help. If you can give, give. If you have to fight for something that is right, by all means, fight. It may cost you things, but it’s worth it. Trust me, it’s worth it.
I close by giving you the words of Bob Goff. “Be Awesome.”
For more information about Sponsoring a Child click the link or visit compassion.com.