I had a thought the other morning... I'm almost 38 years old. If I could go back and have a conversation with the 18 year old me, what would I say to him looking back over these 20 years?
I've narrowed it down to 3 points:
There are some relationships & connections that I would've told myself to avoid. When I was in Youth Ministry we use to tell the teens "Show me your friends & and I'll show you your future." Studies have shown you will typically weight about the same as your five closest friends and typically earn about as much as your five closest friends. The bible says it this way in 1 Corinthians 15:33: "Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.”
In addition to some relationships & connections I should've avoided, there's also some that I should've pursued. I believe there was some open doors that I missed because I didn't pursue a connection & relationship with some key people.
I've always been chubby. But there's a difference between how chubby I was at 18 and how morbidly obese I am now. If I would've monitored my soda and junk food level starting at 18 I could've still enjoyed those sugary gifts from heaven in moderation and not be the Jabba the Hut look-alike I am now.
Oh my gosh... I have wasted tens of thousands of dollars in my life time. My first four years out of high school I was working in the timber industry and was making excellent money. Other than a few guns, I have nothing, nothing, nothing to show for it. I've always said it's too bad I didn't have a drug or alcohol addiction because at least then I would have an excuse burning through all that money.
At my low point I had about $15,000 in credit card debt, working for minimum wage with zero assets. Fortunately God gave me a wife who is very good with money, but it still took about six years to dig us out of that mess I made.
That's about all that I would change. I don't have a ton of regrets. I don't like the outcome of some of the things of in my life but I wouldn't change them. I learned lessons through those things that I wouldn't have lived any other way. And I believe God is able to use those experiences.
Here's the deal though. Doc Brown & his Delorean aren't parked in my driveway. Bill & Ted's phone booth isn't in my yard. I can't go back to the 18 year old me and change anything. But there is something I can do...