do over

20 years ago when I was entering Seminary, the president of the Seminary wrote me a letter with some advice. It is advice that comes with the wisdom of years, and from being sharpened on the rough reality of life.
Looking back, I cannot help but think of how I might do it again if I were you.
If I were starting a new chapter [school year, life experience, etc], I’d determine to know God. It’s easy to lose Him in the classroom, in your job, in your relationships. Knowing scripture is not the same as obeying and trusting Him.
If I were starting over, I would allow NOTHING to keep me from getting to know God better.
Were I at the place of beginning again, I’d try to know myself. During my student days—and later days as well – most of us learned to wear masks. Appearances ranked above reality just as grades sometimes took the place of learning. I’d ruthlessly try to know my weaknesses and my strengths and I would go with my strengths and shore up my weaknesses.
Third, I’d get to know people. We often receive much instruction about verses, but less about people. Where do they hurt? How do they think? Why do they feel? What motivates them? Get to know others who can open that window to new thoughts, personalities and experiences.

Starting over again I wouldn’t let my studies get in the way of my education. As a student, I believed that grades were all important. What is on a report card meant too much to me. When you graduate, no one cares at all about your grades (unless it’s some other school playing the academic game). What sensible people want to know is can you do the job. Get involved in a local church [or spiritual community]. Cultivate non-Christian friends, journey with people to resemble Jesus and if necessary, I’d settle for a lower grade to get a better education.

Finally, I’d write my obituary – not to be morbid, but to be wise. William Butler Yeats described genius as “living with the major issues of life”. I’d determine to find out what matters in life and then determine, God helping me, that I’d devote myself to that. After all, it’s not the duration of life that amount to much, but its donation.
You can discover the major issues by writing your obituary. An obituary reveals what stood out in the living of our days. Wouldn’t it be tragic to climb the ladder and discover it was against the wrong wall? I don’t know what you want out of life. Brilliant lawyer, famous musician, effective business person, make lots of money, husband – wife, kids,…one thing I know is this… You may have all of that and discover that you’ve missed what it’s all about. God wants to be known. And the magnificent obsession of our lives is to know him. To understand the fear of the Lord and to know him.

To KNOW Him.

To know

(that's what we were created for)

1 comment:

  1. Very much enjoyed the challenging and thought-provoking "do over...' blog.
    Hindsight is so clear at times and the 'if only' syndrome can devastating but if we (I) can just take the challenge as stated, even I my stage in life, and strive TO KNOW HIM it will be life changing.
    The idea to write my own obituary may be quite introspectful and humbling.