80 – A Few Thoughts as You Head Off for College
Children…. Though you are hardly children anymore, except in the technical sense. In every other way you are now adults, and you have made me very happy and proud. As you leave home I want to offer you with a few thoughts about practical and spiritual things.
CONTENTMENT: The great secret of contentment will not be getting what you want, but wanting what you get.
CHANGING YOUR LIFE: If you do what you’ve always done, you will be what you’ve always been.
DISCIPLINE: Do what you don’t want to do and you will become what you want to be. Sometimes we need to substitute discipline for a lack of natural interest.
DISAPPOINTMENT: All disappointment is the result of unmet expectations. This will mean more as time goes on.
EFFECTIVENESS: Do fewer things better.
DECISION MAKING: The best insurance for making the right decision is to know how to not make the wrong decision. Never do anything you don’t understand. Never do anything without consulting the Lord in prayer. Never do anything until you have peace-peace is the umpire.
HAPPINESS: Happiness does not mean a life free of difficulty, but an abundance of joy because hope burns in our hearts through Jesus. We have hope because we know who is in charge, we believe He knows what we’re going through, we believe He will always take care of us, and we know how it will end.
HARD TIMES: Do not ask God to shorten the duration of your hard times. Rather, ask God to help you learn every lesson He has for you during the hard times, lest you have to travel that way again.
IDENTITY: What you do is often the true reflection of who you are.
INTEGRITY: Integrity is a one-to-one correlation between my Bible, my belief, and my behavior.
LOVE: People will decide whether Christianity is true by whether we love one another. The height of our love for God will never exceed the depth of our love for one another. Love is the glue that holds us together, and the oil that keeps us from rubbing each other the wrong way.
MARRIAGE: If you want a nominal marriage, marry a nominal Christian.
MEANING: Are people so frustrated because life has no meaning? No, it is exactly because God has set eternity in our hearts that we have a “built in” sense that life does have meaning. Frustration comes when we have not yet found it. The simple fact that humans desire to believe in something shows there must be something to believe in (otherwise, why would we have the desire to believe?).
PATIENCE: The price of pace is peace. There are very few things in life that can’t wait two weeks.
PLANNING: Some say, “I’m too busy to take time to plan.” If you’re too busy, it’s because you didn’t take time to plan. Unless, of course, your plan was to be too busy, because we all do exactly what we plan to do.
PRIORITIES: Distinguish opportunity from distraction.
QUIET TIME: One benefit of daily devotions is that you get the sense life is an ongoing spiritual pilgrimage, not something that you accomplish once for all. The impatience of wanting to “arrive” is turned into a holy patience when we come daily to the table in search of a piece of bread.
REFLECTION: I think we pass too quickly from one activity to the next without setting aside time for meaningful reflection. As a result we do not find the layered and deeper meanings and insights, the interconnections of our experiences.
TIME MANAGEMENT: The greatest time-waster is the time we spend undoing that which ought not have been done in the first place. Lord, help us to say no where we should say no so we can say yes where we would should say yes.
WORLDLINESS: God doesn’t want to take you out of the world; He wants to take the world out of you.
BIBLE: Christians do not use their experience to interpret the word of God; they use the word of God to interpret their experience.
DECEITFULNESS OF SIN: The flesh is deceitful, wicked, and weak. But it is most deceitful, most wicked, and most weak when it is disguised as piety. The only thing worse than flesh is pious flesh.
DISCIPLE: A disciple is one called to walk with Jesus, equipped to live like Jesus, and sent to work for Jesus.
THE FALL: The Fall explains why we must look at the blazing beauty of a sunrise through thick glasses that grace the bridge of a runny nose. An offense to reason, says Pascal, once accepted it makes perfect sense of the human condition.
GOD’S WILL: If it is God’s will for you to get a thing, there is nothing that you can do to not get it. If it is God’s will for you to not get a thing, no amount of begging will make it happen.
GRACE: We give God our sin; He gives us His grace. Our sin for His Son. Sin for Son. Because of sin you can never be good enough for God to love; because of grace you can never be bad enough for God not to love you.
JESUS: Could it be that the most astounding fact of history is that God reduced himself to human flesh that we might comprehend him? When you are adrift in a sea of futility, sometimes calmed to boredom, sometimes raging high, it is pleasant to remember there is Savior who will walk across the water to meet you in the middle of a storm.
JOY: Because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the joy we have is not lighthearted; our happiness is not casual. Our peace was costly, not free.
JUSTICE: Is God just? No. Is there any among us who at the end of any given day would actually want what we really deserved? God does not give us justice, but mercy. He is patient, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
MERCY: Justice would be to get what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve.
PRAYER: Praying once a day is like eating one potato chip. Prayer is the currency of our personal relationship with Jesus.
SACRIFICE: If He can die for me, I can live for him.
SERVANT: A servant is someone who goes where Jesus would go to do what Jesus would do. If you want to be a servant you must be willing to be treated like one.
SURRENDER: The irony of surrender is that it ends not in defeat but victory.
WISDOM: Wisdom is the faculty that considers all that is said and left unsaid, then, after prayer, makes the best choice possible under the circumstances.
WITNESSING: The best method of evangelism is the one you will use. Ask God to give you an unreasonable burden for one person. The number one reason people come to faith is the credible witness of a trusted friend.
I love you very much and am so proud of you!
May you always walk and rest in the peace of Christ,
Business leader, author, and speaker, Patrick Morley helps men to think more deeply about their lives, to be reconciled with Christ, and to be equipped for a larger impact on the world.
©2000. Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This may be reproduced with proper attribution for non-commercial purposes.