The beginning of a series of articles that I am writing for my children. Things I have learned that I want them to know.
To Reece, Maya, Mason, and Madelyn,
One of the desires of my heart is that you can learn what I have learned earlier in your life and be better than I am. I am going to start writing you some of the things I have come to know hoping to save you some heartache, pain, and even stagnation that I have had. Often, we need to learn from our own experience but I hope that as I write you it will at least put you a step ahead of me. Even as I try to teach you lessons, understand that I am not perfect in any of them and I still struggle to employ the things that I teach.
The other day I was in our RV living room/kitchen/office/play area and I found a pamphlet that we had collected on our journey when we were in Mount Shasta. It showed all the awesome things to do in Redding, California. As I looked at all of the activities in Redding I started to get a little depressed. We were only 70 miles away when we were in Mt. Shasta and I started to see all of the things that we could have done. I really started to regret not going. It bothered me for a few hours.
I realized how dumb I was being. We have been enjoying so many things on this trip. We loved our time in Mt. Shasta and we feel like everything has happened to us for a reason. We have had so many opportunities to learn and grow. I realized how stupid it was to regret not doing more, when we had done so much.
As I thought about what a waste of time it was to regret not going to Redding I realized that there is something there that applies to my life. It’s easy for me to neglect the now. Too often, I live in a past full of regret of what could have been, or what I did wrong. I find myself trapped in a past that I remember being better than I actually thought it was at the time. I also worry too much about the future and what it holds for me. I fear the unkown. I find myself believing that I will be happy or I can change when certain things happen in the future.
As Admiral Akbar said in Star Wars,”It’s a trap!” I see the value from learning about the past or planning for the future but I think most people including myself find it easier to live in the past or focus on the future than they do living right now.
Today is when you are creating your life. Today is the day that you have people around you that you love and care about and you can tell them right now. Today is the day you can change. Today is the day that you can stop, or start. We aren’t who we were, or who we will be. We are who we are now.
We create the world we live in. As we create a better now, the regrets of the past fade away. As we create a better now, our future takes care of itself. We can be tossed to and fro by the prevailing winds, and the designs of God, but we are how react now to those trials and weaknesses, and sorrow, and even joy, and prosperity. We aren’t our weaknesses and things we have done wrong in the past. We aren’t a bank account, or the car we drive, or where we live. We are our actions, today’s actions. What you do now transforms the past and the future. It makes you love what you have been through because of what you have become. It makes you love who you will be because you know who you are now.
I wish I could bottle this knowledge up and put it in a pill so you could take it when you find yourself dwelling to much on past and future. I wish I could have that pill for myself. The best I can do is tell you what I believe and hope that when you find yourself in those times of worry, regret, and fear that you can remember this letter and it will help you focus on the now. You will find more joy, and success, and satisfaction if you can do that. You will better be able to create the life that God intends you to live.
Love, your Father