Four years old. What a great age to be. So much energy. So much curiosity. So much trust.
I had a great time at your birthday party on Saturday with you. The fire truck motif was a blast – especially when the firetruck showed up at our house blaring its siren and tooting its horn.
I was talking to a fireman friend of mine this past week and he was telling me a few things about the life of a fireman. It would seem that about 90% of a fireman’s job is preparation. A fireman spends a lot of time maintaining fire apparatus so that when it is needed it will do what it is supposed to do. They spend a lot of time training – not only do they have to be ready to fight fires but they are also first-responders. So they have to be ready to provide emergency care at the scene of accidents and in response to 911 calls. And firemen also have to stay in excellent physical shape in order to endure the physical demands of their job.
So preparation is essential! The 90% of their time that they spend being prepared will determine their success in the 10% when they respond and react to actual emergencies.
So it is with life!
These next 20 years of your life are all about preparing you for the 60+ years that will come after that. Your success spiritually will most likely be determined by your preparation during these years. As will your success vocationally, relationally, and financially. So here are a few things I hope you will learn that will help you prepare well for the days to come…
- Learn to read and ponder Scripture
- Learn the value of patience
- Learn how to manage money
- Learn the value of working hard
- Learn the value of perseverance
- Learn how to cook
- Learn how to fix things around the house
- Learn to think deeply
- Learn the value of gratitude
- Learn to take risks
- Learn how to connect with people of all ages
- Learn how to pray
- Learn the value of generosity
- Learn how to encourage other people
- Learn how to fail successfully
- Learn how to abide in the love of God
- Learn how to learn
So that’s a lot to learn. But you don’t have to learn it all on on your own. Your mom and dad will help you. Nona and I will help you. And there will be others that the Lord will put in your life that will help you as well. Your part is to be willing to learn and prepare so that you will be equipped to deal with life as it unfolds before you. Mostly I will encourage you to learn the truth of this verse from Proverbs 3:5-6:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
Learn to trust God. He is always faithful.
Never forget that you are very loved!