I wish I knew thirty years ago what I know now. If I knew Christ in my mid-twenties, as I do in my mid-fifties, my life would have counted for so much more. It’s easy to wish an older person would have shown me what it meant to live a life wholly devoted to Christ when I was a young man. But I also am not so naïve to think who I was as a twenty-something would have paid any attention to the wisdom of someone who had been through the wars and had the scars to prove it.
After all, the curse of our twenties is that we know it all while understanding nothing. It is only when we recognize how little we know that the Lord can come in and take control.
While I can’t go back and undo all the mistakes I made, thank God He allows us the opportunity to change our ways each morning when we wake. Each day is a chance to get it right, to live a life completely consumed by the love of Christ. Every morning is an opportunity to saturate everything we do with Jesus.
When you wake, thank the Lord for breath, life, health, and His love. Life is a privilege meant to be spent honoring and glorifying our Creator and Savior. The fact God desires to partner with us to bring about His glorious plan for humanity is an immense and undeserved joy. We take the fact God desires to be in a relationship with us for granted. We fail to recognize the responsibility and honor it is that God chose us for His mission. If we will begin our day with such thoughts, it will be far easier to spend our day consumed by His glory and to do His work.
What I wish I knew thirty years ago was how nothing in this life satisfies. All the time and money we spend in pursuit of pleasure and entertainment is meaningless. God wants us to enjoy life, but life is best enjoyed by serving Him. It should never have been about my plans, but surrendering to His plan. Pleasure, wealth, and safety were the wrong things to pursue. What I should have been pursuing all that time was Jesus and His love. Instead of storing up treasures that will burn and rot, I should have been seeking only to share the gospel of Jesus with every man, woman, and child I encountered.
Being popular, climbing the corporate ladder, and numbing the inevitable pain with entertainment were all meaningless. Living each day for what I could enjoy or achieve was a mistake and a dead end. Whatever I’ve achieved, acquired, or accumulated is nothing in light of the love and beauty of Jesus. How many souls went to Hell because I was more focused on myself? How many opportunities did I miss, and how much closer could I have grown to Christ? I will never know this side of Heaven. There are no do-overs in life. We have only this one life to live.
I implore you to listen to one who has fought the battles and bears the scars. Pursue Jesus and nothing else. That is what life is all about. Don’t waste your life on the things of this world. Only Christ is worthy, and only He can save you. When you make everything in your life about Jesus, you cannot even imagine how incredible it can be. Forsake everything, surrender your will, take up your cross, and follow Him.