Awhile back Heather Holleman asked a question I still like to ask: What advice would you give your nineteen years old self?
When I was nineteen, asking an older woman for advice never crossed my mind. Back then, I didn’t understand the only change I could make was changing myself. I wanted to change all the people, places and things around me.
But, as I changed where I lived, jobs and friends, I always woke up me. And I didn’t know what to do with myself.
So, if God ever enabled a conversation with a younger me, I would advise her to remember God. At nineteen, I chose to forget God. I stayed out of church and away from people who looked like they went to church.
I can’t say I drifted away from God, although I was drifting.
No, I walked away.
So, I would tell my nineteen year old self, when you choose to forget God, you will discover many ways to enhance your choice. But God, who can change you, doesn’t stay on shelves, or in boxes, or junk heaps.
Nope, He is the hole in your heart, I’d tell the younger me, and no other person, place or thing fills that hole but Himself. It’s not a new idea – but it was news to me:
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.”― Blaise Pascal
I still struggle with making wise choices every day. That too I would tell the confused, rebellious young woman I was.
Everybody does. Nobody is fully mature; we will disappoint others and ourselves.
Human beings are a mess – even our heroes – especially you.
But somehow, God, the one from whom I erred and strayed, has a plan: a once for all plan, and a daily plan. So, remember your God, and run home, girl!
That’s what I’d advise my nineteen years old self.
It’s still good advice for seasoned citizens who are as confused and upset over our country and the world as I was at nineteen; old people who are as wounded, and willful as I was back then, and silver saints who are as afraid of suffering and death.
I resisted advice decades ago, and I can still get my back up when I start getting suggestions. So, thinking about who I was, may help me suggest a better way ifsomeone asks.
The best way to succeed in life is to act on the advice we give to others. ~Author Unknown