Today I came across an article about an eleven year old girl who died. Among her things was a letter written to her “future self” to be opened in the year 2023. Because her mother was curious about the letter she decided to open it, read it and publish it for all to see. An invasion of privacy? I’m not sure. But the letter was so encouraging and uplifting – it is easy to forgive whatever motive the mother had. I read it and smiled. It is much the same kind of letter that I would have written to myself when I was eleven. Curious about the future, and wanting some kind of assurance that life, things, people and opportunities would not change who I was and who I would become – seems like the kind of letter I would write. And so would you.
Much of what I see floating around the internet (and especially celebrities) is a letter to their “younger self”. The kind of letter you would write if you could somehow transport yourself back in time, 20, 30, 40 years – or even longer. If somehow we had time travel at our disposal and could magically appear to ourselves, like “Back to the Future” with Michael J. Fox.
But let’s be reasonable. Much like the younger versions of Marty McFly’s mother and father in that same movie – who were not very open to glimpses of truth and wisdom from the future – probably neither would we. I do see it as an interesting topic, however and would love to stay here a little longer. Would my younger self have listened to me at this mature age? Especially if I seemed to posses knowledge that only a “future” me would know about? Would it them be clear to my younger self that I was trustworthy and knew what I was talking about? I’m not sure.
And since events in our life – choices we make determine our natural course and make us who we are maybe the only answer to this is – let it be.
As I pondered this – a thought occurred to me. God knows our past, present and future and chooses not to tell us about it. He could. But He does not. He does not try to influence our decisions, but asks us to trust Him when we feel Him speaking to us in times of great darkness, sorrow pain and loss. I’ve come to the conclusion that He knows all those decisions we make, good and bad will shape us into the man or woman we are today. Oh He could give away some of the secrets of timing, people and choices – but He does not. There is a lesson in this. And I don’t want it to be lost on me especially when I cry out to Him, “WHY???????” Ultimately I would have to admit that even though some of those stupid choices I have made over the years were painful, humiliating and MAN I wish I could have a DO OVER!! But this is not how life works.
So if I had the chance – like God to go back and whisper some things to my younger self – I would not. I would stand and observe. And be thankful. And let things run their natural course.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
That is good enough for me. He knows – and gives a glimpse into my future – plans for welfare and not for evil – hope and a future.
Be encouraged today. The choices you have made, situations you have found yourself in – good and bad have given you character and maturity. And God knew all along.