If Only I Had Known

Verla--head onI’m not sure if we get smarter with age or if we simply make enough mistakes and deal with enough setbacks and failures to learn what doesn’t work. Here are a few things I wish I had learned sooner:

Wisdom doesn’t come in giant bursts. It trickles in, drip by drip–unless, of course, we wall ourselves off from anything but our own preconceived ideas of how the world must work, in order for us to be happy.

No one ever writes on their To Do list: “Think about my life.” Thinking is harder than doing. Besides, the task is never done, so you can never check it off the list! Keep reflection on the list. It will change you and the list.

You can hurt yourself stumbling around in the dark–figuratively and in real life. But mostly it just feels awkward and makes us uncomfortable. It’s not the end of the world. There is both darkness and light in every 24-hour day and morning always follows the night.

When was the last time you felt like your “moment” had passed and your life was now about simply doing what has to be done and staying out of everybody’s way? It’s a lie. Don’t settle for a beige life.

God’s tactics and timetable are flexible but his End Game never changes. It’s so big and so important, it trumps our own plans. That’s not such a bad thing. His plans are much bigger than ours and he invites us to join him…which is more than we can say about how we sometimes treat him when it comes to our plans.

Just because nothing seems to be happening doesn’t mean nothing is happening. An elephant’s pregnancy is about 22 months. Really big things take longer.

Stability and security are not goals. They are a faux shield against what we fear. Pray, instead, for peace in the midst of the instability and the courage to face your fears.

Having answers still won’t prevent bad things from happening.

Careless words can do damage that a simple apology cannot repair.

Change might be more welcome if we were invited into it. But it often shows up unannounced and we don’t get to say goodbye to the way things were. Let it go. You don’t live there anymore.

Smart people are those with important things to say. Often they are children.

Priorities help when dealing with chaos. They make chaos shut up, sit down, and wait its turn. Maybe you’re having a nervous breakdown. But not today. Today you’re on deadline. Move it to Thursday.

Choose carefully the people and things you idolize. Do they love you back? God does.

Contentment means learning to live with unanswered questions.

How we handle interruptions reveals more about our character than how we handle our well-ordered plans.

You may be afraid of God, mad at God, disinterested in God. That’s okay. Start there. He’ll meet you and you can talk it over. He’s got all the time in the world.

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