You’re ten, and I’m you at age fifty-eight. Two things gave me the idea to write you a letter. First, There’s a picture of you in my living room. My wife, Sharlene, (Oh, you marry a beautiful, Godly woman, so don’t ever be anxious about girls or whom you’ll marry.) put it there. She thinks you’re cute, and that somehow works in my favor now. So, thanks for that. Well, I saw your picture the other day and thought it would be a good idea to write you a letter – kind of therapeutic for me, actually. That’s the first thing that gave me the idea – your picture; the second thing I’ll reveal a little farther down in the letter.
In a couple years, God will speak to you in church one Sunday morning. He’ll let you know He wants you to be a preacher. Don’t just blow that off later that day. Go play basketball with your friends that afternoon, like you always do. But don’t just fall into your same old way of talking and thinking and dismiss the idea of being a preacher.
And please don’t wait until you’re twenty-one years old and in college to surrender your life to Jesus and begin your journey of trusting, and walking with, Him. Go ahead and give your life to Him that very Sunday morning. He won’t be just giving you a prophecy that you’ll one day be a preacher; He’ll be calling you to put your faith in Him and become very close friends with Him.
And that afternoon, or any other time, if you find yourself saying things that don’t match up with being a Christian, don’t just abandon the idea of walking with God. Instead, say something like, “Hey everybody, I’m sorry, that’s not the way I want to talk or act.” And tell God you’re sorry. The Lord will forgive you immediately, so just get right back in step with Him. And that’ll be a great model for your friends, because they’ll need to do the same thing whenever they make mistakes.
Now, if you do end up not committing your life to Christ that day or if you bail on your commitment to Him at any point, turn back to Him as soon as you realize it. He’s so merciful and His arms will always be open to you.
Another piece of advice is this. Forgive Dad. I know you feel like he treats you unfairly, but just forgive him and keep deciding to love him the way you did when you were a little boy and he was your hero and you wanted to be like him. You’ll be so glad one day that you always honored him and Mom.
Speaking of parents, you and your wife will have six kids. Then you’ll understand how hard it was for Mom and Dad. You’ll also see that your wife and children are God’s greatest earthly gifts to you, and your parents, siblings, and grandparents will become more and more valuable to you as life goes on. I’m so proud of the kids now. They’re scattered all over the country, and Sharlene and I don’t get to see them as much as we’d like. What’s cool, though, is that we can talk with them on a video screen – like a two-way television – any time. (Actually, most everything on The Jetsons has come true, except for the individual air-travel vehicles. Not sure why, but we just don’t have those yet.) (By the way, buy as much stock as you can in each of these companies in the respective year: Apple – 1980; Microsoft – 1986; Amazon – 1997; Tesla – 2010.)
We’re very proud of the kids. They’re all blessed with talent, wisdom and a strong work ethic, and they’re all doing well. Some are still finding their way to God, but they’ll be walking with Him soon. They’re also all very nice-looking, which is a credit to their beautiful mother. (Sorry to tell you this, but you’ll be the least attractive member of the family. Your wife-and-kids-family, that is; you’ll be the most attractive member of your parents-and-siblings-family, however.)
The second thing that gave me the idea to write to you is that I had a stroke earlier this year. A stroke is a type of brain injury where you lose some function of your brain, temporarily, at least. Well, in some ways, I’ve become like a kid again, so I’m having to relearn and develop things all over again. For example, You know how hard it is for you to do things left handed now? Well, you’ll improve, but the stroke paralyzed my left-hand fingers, and their function is slow to come back. So I’m probably at about your level again for that skill. I also don’t really catch traffic lights and brake lights like I should, kind of like a beginner driver. So, if you don’t mind, work hard to develop that left hand and to build some really good driving habits. Maybe those efforts can help me somehow.
Please try your best at things. You tend to be satisfied with just getting by when you could do much better. Do your best at whatever you do. You’ll be glad you did.
Finally, remember that God loves you beyond your ability to comprehend it. You have nothing to worry about. Enjoy the next forty-eight years, and I’ll take it from there.
Sincerely You at 58,