Life Advice to My Younger Self
Updated: Jul 11
A few weeks ago, I had my 5-year high school reunion. Some of you maybe chuckling at that and admittedly that does not make me very old but, it does give me pause. Five years is not an exceedingly long time and yet it’s significant enough to feel like a milestone of sorts.
The funny thing about climbing into the time machine of your own memory is how you can look back at your own past and laugh about moments that were anything but funny back in the day. I call it the “Facebook memory theory”.
Every time a Facebook memory pops up, you look at a post from 3 years ago and think, “Man, this was so cringy, glad I’ve got it all figured out now”. You look at yourself from years ago with the benefit of hindsight. Because you are outside of the moment you can look at your circumstances in your past and realize most of the stuff you stressed about was not very important or consequential. Each and every one of us can look back to our past and see moments of angst, worry, and stress and acknowledge that those moments were not as life and death as we may have believed in the time.
The funniest part of the “Facebook memory theory” is we never seem to learn the lesson from our reflections on distant memories. We see our past as amusing because of our unwarranted worry and then immediately become consumed by the anxieties of today. Somehow our concerns of the past turned into funny stories today but, the worries of today are serious and deserving of our undivided attention.
In Matthew 6, Jesus talks to us about our unmerited anxiety.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Jesus is trying to give us the key to freedom from the everyday worry of this world. He is calling out to us to trust Him with our lives. He tells us to look at the birds, carefree and comfortable. He isn’t telling us to abandon our ambitions or to live aimlessly as the birds do but, He is reminding us that God cares so deeply for even the most inconsequential animals how much more does he care for his image bearers here on earth.
If I could go back in time and give myself life advice on anything, I think I would remind myself of this truth, God is in control. So, when I worry, and life throws its uncertainty at me I no longer need to respond with fear or anxiety. I can respond with a confidence, not born out of my own abilities but, that I have a God that cares for me so much that I can give up the security blanket of worry and fully trust in a God has my back.