Dear Younger Scott

Before Spring arrives, I will start a new trip around the sun. I am at the time of life where I am not old, but I am no longer young and with that comes a change in perspective. As I look back at the last half-century or more, I am thinking about what I might tell my younger self. I am asking myself if there are any changes I would make?

Changes?

I suppose there are a few things I would consider changing. I can’t say I have any major regrets, but there are some decisions I question. I am looking back on the jobs I accepted and the ones I turned down or purchases I made that could have waited or not been made at all. Could I have invested more toward retirement if I had not bought that car when I did? I am thinking about the people I spent time with and the influence they had on me. Yet I wonder, if I made different choices would I be who I am today and know what I know?

After a bit of reflection, I think I know what advice I would give younger Scott. I think there are a few things he should know that will help him navigate life.

What would I tell me?

  1. Slow down. Slow down when you eat. Slow down when you walk. Slow down when you drive. Take your time and enjoy the adventure of getting to where you are going.
  2. Read more books. Read to learn and read for enjoyment. Books will take you on adventures to places and introduce you to people (real and fictitious) that you would never meet otherwise. Books will introduce you to experiences you could never have without them. Books make time travel possible.
  3. Talk less, listen more. Hi, my name is Scott and I am a talker, but I am learning more and more the importance of taking time to listen.
  4. Spend more time in God’s Word. I know, I am a preacher and spending time in Scripture is what I do, but I missed out on a lot in my younger years by not reading like I could have.
  5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are not perfect and you will never be, so when you make your mistakes, realize they are just that and then learn from them and thank God for His patience and grace! Remember Romans 6:1-2 and don’t try to take advantage of God’s grace either.
  6. Spend more time with your grandparents. Ask them about their childhood, teen years, early adult life, marriage, and parenthood. Listen carefully to what they share and learn from their failures and successes.
  7. Rejoice with those that rejoice! Be genuinely excited for the success and joys of others.
  8. Weep with those that weep. Be a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold, and an ear that listens. People need people that care.
  9. Put more effort into your education. All. The. Way. Through. Starting in elementary school and working all the way through graduate school, spend the extra time you need to really understand the material, not just for the test, but for life.
  10. Make sure you meet Amy. That is one decision you don’t want to change.
  11. Be a Christian, a disciple who daily takes up his cross and follows Christ.

What advice would you give your younger self?

– Scott

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