Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What I Wish I Knew When I Was 16

Me (left) at age 16 on a missions trip in Mexico.
Think back to when you were 16 years old.

What were you like? Who were your friends? Who were your primary relationships? What were your favorite activities? What music/movies/sports did you enjoy? What were your hopes? Your fears?

If you could go back, what would you tell your 16-year-old self?

With my small group of sophomore boys, we're doing a series we're calling "What I Wish I Knew When I Was 16." We're having different Godly men in our church come and share their stories, answering that very question above. Pastors, elders, fathers, single guys, and everything in between. We're not having them preach a sermon or be overly didactic in their approach. They simply share their story and invite the guys to ask questions.

If I had to answer the question, I'd tell myself to take more relational risks. I had a solid group of friends at church, and a lot of friends and acquaintances at my school, but I rarely ever branched out beyond those clusters, nor did I share my faith as often as I could. Going to a Catholic prep school, I had every opportunity to talk about spirituality, but I often missed out because I didn't understand the Catholic ways of faith and wrongfully judged when I could have humbly learned from others. I don't know if I would have listened to the 27-year-old me, but maybe it would have made a difference in my relationships. (I'd also tell myself to actually read my Bible, but I still doubt that would have happened. That's for another post.)

So what would you tell your 16-year-old self? Share in a comment.


  1. "God wants a word with you. Have a chat with Him sometime"

    "Don't neglect playing music, it will become a fortress in the worst of storms"

    "Don't concern yourself with what others think of you"

    "Don't be too hard on yourself, Jesus judges effort, not results"

    ..and I sometimes think that 40 years in the future, my 80 year old self would say the same to my 40 year old self, as I seem to learn the lessons slowly.. :o)

    1. Wonderful words, and with such a gracious tone. I wonder if I'd come across as gracious to my 16-year-old self, or if I'd sound more urgent and desperate. I hope the former, and not the latter.