by Todd Goodwin
Hey, older Todd. What’s up?
Not much right now. How about you, younger Todd?
Well, I’ve got my who life ahead of me… So yeah, a lot is about to happen.
Yep! I’ve got it all figured out. You see, if you just set your mind to something you, can accomplish it.
Hmm. Is that really true?
Yes, it is, because my dad told me so. And I’ve always heard that you were to follow your dreams. I have a lot of dreams.
Wow! That’s cool but that’s not the way life really works, young Todd.
Oh, yes it does. I know.
Well, in my 55 years of experience, education, observations,
and actually listening to what God says, it doesn’t happen
quite as clean and nice and neat as you think. Life can
get a little messy with no fault of your own.
I’m sure you mean well, older Todd, but I’m different. I’m driven. I’m a hard worker. I’m smart. I’ve prayed about my dreams.
And you know what the Bible says in Psalms 37:4? God will “give you the desires of your heart.”
I think you need to read that in context.
Context! How that verse actually fits in with the whole Psalm and not to pull it out and make it say what you want it to say.
But, that’s what it says. He will “give me the desires of my heart.”
Young Todd, you are correct… But what about the part that says to “delight yourself in the Lord?”
Well, duh. Everybody knows that. It’s a given.
Is it? You are telling me that everybody knows that, in order for you to get the desires of your heart, you have to delight yourself in the Lord?
Yep. You know why I know?
No, I don’t, young Todd. Why?
Because everybody knows that God is good and that He only wants the best for them.
Really? Everybody that you know knows that?
Even the mom and dad of Shawn, your friend who died in a car accident on graduation night?
You remember him, don’t you? He’s the one that you said you’d wait until “tomorrow” to tell him
about how Jesus changed your life. You never got that chance, did you?
Yeah, Yeah. I remember very well, older Todd. You don’t have to remind me.
How about Salina’s family? Do they “just know” God is good?
Okay, Okay. I get it! Not everybody knows God is good.
Why not, young Todd?
I don’t know why.
Well, you see, as we live our life, we have to make decisions, and those decisions will
affect the outcome of our life. A lot of people don’t ask God to help them make those decisions, which means that
they will have to suffer the consequences or the benefits of their decisions. They are basically living life on their own,
without God, and the outcome is left up to chance. So, when things do go bad, a lot of those people who actually
believe in God blame Him... when in actuality, it’s not His fault.
Wow, older Todd, you sure do paint a bleak picture of the future.
No! No, it’s not bleak at all. I guess what I’m trying to say is that life can get a little
messy and the answers aren’t as easy as we want them to be.
So, what you are telling me to do?
Basically, I’m telling you to always, as a follower of Jesus Christ, talk to God about your decisions,
listen, and then obey. Obey—even if you don’t like it or even understand it. You don’t have to understand to
obey and you don’t have to understand to accept His love either. You can seek to understand, but don’t let not
understanding be a reason why you don’t obey. God is good and He does want the best for your life. But,
it’s not just your life that your life affects. Your life is going to touch so many people—you have no idea—
so make sure you invite God in on every decision.
Whew, older Todd, I was scared. By the way you painted this picture, I couldn’t have any dreams and goals in life.
Well, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for it to come out that way.
You know, older Todd, I see life as an empty canvas, and I have the paint brushes and the paint in my hands ready to paint a picture that will not only be beautiful in and of itself, but one that will show the beauty and glory of God—a picture that could only come from the mind of God. But, I guess my problem… if it is a problem… is that I don’t know what to paint. I have so many options, and you know how I like to keep my options open. I don’t know what to do.
Young Todd, your belief in the future is infectious and contagious, so reminiscent of many people your age.
It’s that belief and hope in a beautiful future that will mold and shape our future. Your energy and vitality mixed
with your insatiable desire for knowledge will fuel you to go farther, higher, deeper, and longer than what
my generation could have done.
So, is that all I need for a bright, sunshine-y future? Energy, knowledge, and desire?
Oh, no, no. You’ll need much more than that. You need something only others that have
gone before you have. The wisdom of retrospect.
The wisdom of what?
Oh, you mean we’ve got to go retro.
Hmm, I never knew what that actually meant and where that came from.
That’s because you simply haven’t been alive long enough. Not all older people are wise,
just like not all young people are stupid… I mean ignorant… no, I mean foolish…
Oh, oh, nevermind. You know what I mean.
Huh??? I guess I do. Are you saying I don’t know what you know because I haven’t learned it yet, because it takes time?
Pretty much. One of the things I have learned from you, young Todd, is to keep a sense of wonder in my life.
Really? You learned something from me?
Absolutely. I learn from you all the time. Just because you are young doesn’t
mean you that can’t teach us older people something.
That’s awesome. So, you actually listen to a younger generation?
Absolutely. I may not always understand or agree with you, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find common
ground and grow in relationship with each other and make our world a better place to live.
Well guys, I haven’t said much because I’m not sure what my future holds.
But by the way you guys are talking it looks pretty good.
Future Todd! I didn’t even think you were listening to us. It’s about time you said something.
Well, I have found out that the older I get the more I listen and the less I talk. But, when I do, I try and make
sure it’s beneficial to all. I believe that if we pay attention, listen, observe, and most of all consult
God in everything and obey Him, we will be just fine.
We couldn’t agree more!