As I consider our devotions for our summer camp, as well as giving some advice/counsel to my sons, I often think about the mistakes I have made in my youth that I wish I could have avoided. There are some things I would have given up altogether and others I wish I had never abandoned.
The wisest among us are those that listen, weigh the counsel being offered and have a sober understanding of just how inexperienced and uninformed they are.
That being, said, if I could go back to my childood, university and graduate school, I would have:
-Taken more classes in English, literature and creative writing! I would have benefited in aspects of my work and ministry were I better educated in these skills. (I can’t believe I am admitting this now).
-Signed up for more business classes in college. There’s no doubt all things I have touched financially would be better off if I had done this.
-Studied theology far more diligently in Seminary. Nothing would have prepared me better for the work I am doing with youth from all over the world than a better grasp and appreciation of theology.
-Never stopped playing tennis! I loved this as a teenager but stopped playing years ago. What a pity to have your parents pay for years of tennis lessons (as mine did) and then, when I have four courts in back yard stop playing. I loved the game and the friendships it provided but let my hobbies go by the wayside the busier I got.
-Never gone into debt! Borrowing and debt become monsters, and whereas I do not know how I would have sustained this ministry without having a mortgage, there’s got to be a better way to live and grow.
-Never loan to anyone what I could not afford to give away. If I had back all that I have lost in loans to others I would be far better off—-and so would they.
Finally, I wish I could have invested the money I spend on 8-track tapes in Apple stock; I wish I had read a lot more and watched TV a lot less; I wish I had locked up all my childhood toys when I left home and kept them away from my mom’s “car-port” sales; I wish I had spent more time hanging around all my aunts and uncles.
We can’t do it all over again though, can we….. Oh that my boys would listen to me and trust me better than I listened to and trusted those that gave me similar advice as a young man.