Tip #43: Begin Again!
I have the privilege of being a mentor to quite a few young men. What rewards me the most is when I sit down with a young man that seems to have his head on straight, has a plan, and is on the right track. While it's refreshing for me to talk to these guys, I also realize that many of them have made some pretty bad decisions (and who hasn't?). No one is perfect and everyone has made mistakes. When you realize that you have made a mistake (or two), "man up" and accept the consequences. Don't point fingers and don't blame others. Start by saying "I screwed up". Then, get a new start. Philipians 3:12-13 (CEV) says it this way:
"12 I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. 13 My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead."
What about your past? Well, it's somewhat important but maybe not how you think. Don't dwell on it but keep it in mind so you know what to watch out for as you move forward. I heard a Pastor say that your windshield is bigger than your rear view mirror because where you're headed is much greater than where you've been. Try this simple exercise: take a sheet of notebook paper and write down your regrets from the past (don't let anyone see it though). Then take that paper, crumble it up, and throw it in the trash (not the recycling bin as we don't need anyone else reusing your regrets). Be sure to leave it in the trash where it belongs (and for Pete's sake, don't go dumpster diving)! Take another sheet of paper and write down a list of things you've achieved! Post that in a place where you can see it everyday to remind you of the good things you've accomplished. Many of you will be starting school soon. This is a good time to get a fresh start. Take a few minutes to write some goals for this school year. Maybe you want to get good grades, play sports, join a club/extracurricular activity, lose weight, gain weight, make new friends, be better family members, etc. The bottom line is you can begin again!
Written 8/10/2014 by John Weaver