Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Another, On Your 13th Birthday

(Out of pocket today. Here is another letter I wrote to a friend entering the teen years. A different take from the last one, for a different sort of kid.)

Thirteen. There are cultures in the world that will consider you an adult now. Our culture is sadly not one of them. Instead, we like to think of the teen years as some sort of extension to your childhood, where you get to ignore all of the responsibility of adulthood but you have to let go of all of the good things about childhood

Let me encourage you to try just the opposite. Now that you are a “teen” start trying on some of those qualities of being a man. Take responsibility for your decisions. Consider that your actions will have an impact on the world and other people and act accordingly. However and perhaps more importantly, don’t let the world break you of the good habits of childhood.

Work to maintain your imagination and creativity. I have this suspicion that God actually planned for us to be that way. We are created in His image and He is, after all, a creative God. For some reason as we get older the world tries to tell us that being an adult means being “grounded in reality.” That may be true in part but I think that the people who are most successful at living are the ones who have the ability to see the world as it could be.

Never lose a sense of hope and optimism. The teen years can be scary and negative because your thoughts, perspective and even your hormones lie to you. On days when it seems like everybody is against you and life is going in a terrible direction remember two things: they aren’t and God has a good plan for your life if you will just trust Him and follow His lead.

Happy Birthday!

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