Yesterday was Mother's Day, a day to celebrate the impact our mothers have had on our lives. The sermon I preached was about Samson's Mom (A woman whose name is not even recorded in the Bible but who gave her son all he needed to succeed). The focus of that sermon was to learn the lessons God is trying to teach us through out mothers. Even in Sunday School, we had a mother tell our class that when we please our mothers we are also pleasing God. No Mom is perfect, but in trying to honor them in how we live, we honor God with our lives. There is a lot of truth in that, but it isn't always easy to obey our mothers. When we reach those teenage years, we want to spread our wings and make our own way in life. Moms are gifted by God to see the possible mistakes and bad choices, so they let us know these things. It can feel like Mom is trying to keep us from growing up or even nagging us. That is never an easy place to be.
As I finished the preparation for that sermon, I thought back to the struggles I had in listening to my Mom. If you were to ask her, she would tell you that she talked more to the back on my head than my face because I was always heading out the door. She would be right. Looking back now, I should have stopped and listened to the wise counsel of my Mom, but I thought I had heard it all from her. I would tell my younger self to not be in such a hurry to get away from home and to pay more attention to the counsel God was giving me through my Mom. I would tell my younger self to remember the love, care and passion Mom had put into raising me. I would tell my self of all the sacrifices I now see that she made and tell my younger self to show more appreciation and gratitude. Had my younger self done a better job with listening, my life would have been more productive and filled with less unnecessary drama.
This reminded me of an article I read written by David Robinson, NBA Hall of Famer. The article was focused on what he would have said to his younger self. Here is the link to that article. I would suggest you read it before you go any farther:
Now, what would you say to your younger self? What changes would you have made in your younger days so that you would have been more productive and successful. Unfortunately, that information won't help us, but we can learn from the past and let God change our future. Paul gives us directions for this in Philippians 2:13-14: "Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." As followers of Christ, today is always a new day. We need to move beyond the accolades of the past, the failures of last week and the sin that keeps us beaten down. We can't change the past, but God has a better future in store for us. So heed the wisdom from God's Word and let God help you be the man or woman He desires you to be. Then your future self won't have to write a letter to your today self!