Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

15 May 2008

If I knew then what I know now

I heard myself say those words last night. And in typical "Dave fashion", I spent the next 3 waking hours thinking about it. The context of my discussion was about leadership and time. As a 20 year old, I always suspected that the adult life I wanted began at 30. And that's just about how it happened. My teens and 20's annoyed me. I've always wanted to be older than I am. I alway want to have more responsibility than I currently have. Right now, I look at how much influence I should be able to have when I'm 40 and I look forward to that. I'm a freak that way.

But now that I have what I wanted, it also means that I have to less time for the things that I'm beginning to appreciate about life. Like art, books, writing, family, prayer, real church, seeing the world. In fact, I spend more time doing those things today than I did ten years ago... but if I had known how important they were ten years ago, I would have spent more time doing them when I had the time!

I'm not a real big life planner. There are too many twists and turns along to the way for that to make a whole lot of sense. But I also don't have much patience for those who chose to live their lives randomly. You have a certain amount of time in life... and time is currency. You are given only so much to invest... and make no mistake... when you choose to do one thing, you're saying no to others. Either knowingly or unknowingly.

My pastor has a saying,
"Sow where you want to go"

Beautiful rhyme isn't it? He truly is the last of the great white rappers. I believe it's a terrific principle for giving... but also for time. I love watching baseball. But would I ever turn down a meeting to watch baseball. Nope.

I watch people fight battles in their head over how to be a leader. They stand in room with the name tag "leader" on but wonder why nobody reads their sticker. I was lucky that as a 20 year old to have had some wonderful teachers who taught me to be a leader by spending time with me. They encouraged me to go up to teenagers and say, "hey... how are ya?" My pastor, who's ministry I got saved under, was a time-sacrificial dude. Every night his small house was full of his family, teenagers and youth leaders. Playing cards, watching movies, and staying up until 2am talking about God. He CHOSE to invest that time in people with potential to be fruitful. And many are today.

If I knew then what I know now...

I wouldn't have watched so much TV.
I would have realized that time isn't mine.
I would have given more.
I wouldn't wasted energy being angry about old wineskin thinking.
I would have just been the new wineskin.
I would have read more books.
I would have been at peace with my giftings a decade ago.
I would have been kinder to people.
I wouldn't have eaten at so many restaurants.
I would have gotten into the habit of getting up early to pray long ago so it wasn't so hard today.

If you knew then what you know now, what would you do?


Rebecca said...

If I knew then what I know now...

I wouldn't have stressed over every little assignment I had in highschool.

Now dont get me wrong, I beleive you should be dilegent in your studies and work hard in all you do. But I went beyond dilegent, to the point of being obsessive. I felt I HAD to put as much effort that was at all possible into every little assignment that I had in every little class. This led to a lot of unnessesray stress. At the time it seemed like such a big deal, but now I realize, I dont even remember half the stuff that I stressed over so much. I wish I had then asked myself, is it really worth spending all this time and energy into some paper that is worth only a small portion of one class out of the 24 or so classes that I will do in highschool?

Anonymous said...

I would have spent less time angry, less money on everything, more time with my family, and I wouldn't have gotten married that one time.


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