Today is my birthday. It really is just another day for most everyone else. But birthdays tend to be pretty introspective days for many of us, don’t they? (Do you like how I used “introspective” rather “self-absorbing” to make us sound better?!) So I hope you’ll let me indulge a little and just think back on these 28 years I’ve had doing this thing called life. I’ve learned quite a bit, and yet have so much more to learn. And of course, I wish I’d learned so much of it so much earlier.
Hence, in no specific order, here are 28 things I wish I’d learned earlier than I did (though it didn’t take exactly 28 years for me to learn ALL of these!):
1. You’ll never find time to do things. You always have to make it.
2. Living like the majority of others will get you the results that the majority of others are dealing with.
3. There will not be many shows better than Boy Meets World. Cherish it.
4. Jesus is the only One who will NEVER leave or forsake you. He’s the real deal.
5. Grace works much better as a liberty to do good rather than a license to do what you want.
6. Momma always knows best. And if at any point you think she doesn’t, at least be smart enough not to verbalize that!
7. Admitting you’re wrong or that you don’t know may just be one of the most powerful things you can do.
8. You lead others through your strengths, but you connect to them through your weaknesses.
9. Sin will take you further than you want to go. It’ll keep you longer than you want to stay. And it’ll cost you more than you want to pay.
10. Romance is cheap and fleeting, and genuine love is much better.
11. Pay close attention to what comes easy for you but other people admire about what you do. There’s something in that!
12. No, your holes don’t close up completely after your ears have been pierced, even after years.
13. It’s a much better use of time to work to make the Church better than it is to complain about it.
14. Revenge actually doesn’t feel nearly as good as contentment and peace do.
15. Every decision is a step. And every step is taking you somewhere.
16. Friendships may seem like all fun and games, but good ones actually take a little work too.
17. People really like you when you can do something for them. Don’t be like that.
18. Momentary feelings aren’t quite as reliable as what you know to really be true.
19. It’s Sunday. That’s why you’re craving Chick-Fil-A like crazy.
20. It’s unfair to expect more from the leaders above you than you’re willing to be for the one’s you’re leading.
21. They’re just girls! No need to get distracted!
22. Exercise when you’re young and in shape so you can actually stay young and in shape longer than the average person.
23. Take your day off seriously and allow yourself to rest. It’s just one day, you’re just one person, and the world won’t fall apart while you rest. Promise!
24. Spend time regularly thanking God for what you have. It’ll help you to not take it for granted like you naturally will.
25. You have nothing to prove to those bullies who picked on you in middle school. Stop trying to subconsciously show them they were wrong about you.
26. Get in the habit of spending daily time with God. Sure it may seem routine, but it’s the kind you WANT to get into!
27. Don’t wait for “someday” and pretend that things will magically be better then. Instead, do something with the gift you’ve been given of today.
28. Focus on developing character more than developing talent. One is a lot easier to learn later on.
Perhaps you’ve already learned all these lessons already. Some of these I’m still in the process of learning. But the joy of our lives is that each new days can be full of new lessons to learn to make the days ahead even sweeter!