Words To Myself--40 Years Ago
If I could go back in time to that wonderful young age of about 16 and grab myself by the neck & shake the head till the eyeballs bugged out, these are the things I would say to young Fred! Of course it would have only been “one small step for mankind, but a giant leap for me.” (If I had listened.)
1. Stay away from drugs & alcohol. We are creatures of habit & its too easy to become addicted. Fall into good habits not bad ones. . . ”your adversary the devil prowls around like a lion. . . seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
2. Treat your first love with respect. It is precious & fragile & if you mess it up carelessly you might hurt yourself & her long term. Song of Solomon 8:4 & 6
3. Honor your father & mother. They might be your best friends on this planet & you will miss them when they are gone. Exodus 20:5
4. Take your education seriously Fred & stay in school as long as possible. You will need it wherever you go in this hard competitive world. See Proverbs 1:20-26
5. Don’t waste too much time & money (& gas) on hot rods. If you want to learn automotive, take some school classes & get credit for it.
6. Don’t hasten to join the Army so you can do something exciting like shooting asian people from a helicopter door. Life is too short to jeopardize your own donkey even if he is stupid.
7. Don’t reject God or His values while you are young. They are both there to help you survive & get ahead in this world. Learn to pray - it greases the gears of life like nothing else. And fortunately God is totally impartial to all. He won’t hear Billy Graham or the Pope sooner than you.
8. Don’t ever make fun of anyone who appears to be challenged in any way. Help them if you can. God has a strange sense of justice & He may visit you with their affliction & then what will you do? (I have seen this happen, thankfully not to me.)
9. Have a little style & culture. Aspiring to be a redneck bohemian is a cheap shot. Aim for decency, truth & integrity. Those are the things that bring long-lasting satisfaction and success.
10. Fred, you should learn to think & communicate clearly. Get a mentor & discuss life’s main issues. Be a little bit philosophical & ask big questions once in a while. Such as "Do good guys really come in last?"
11. Be especially careful with love & money. Losing either will be especially gut wrenching.
12. Life is what happens while you are planning something else. Don’t dwell too much on the future. Have a plan, but live in the present.
13. Be Christian and go to church. While there Fred, listen & think. The whole program is for your benefit. If it is any kind of a restraint on your young donkey, it’s a good restraint that you need. You will meet good people there that are worth knowing.
If I had heeded my own advice, my younger years would have been more enjoyable with less painful & stupid mistakes. I did get a complete heart & soul overhaul at age 20 by accepting Christ’s salvation. But from 16 to 20 was a losing devil at the wheel era in my life. At least three times death came too close. Since Jesus came in things have been altogether different & blessed. Too bad I had to learn the above “13 steps to common sense” the hard way...
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