Seven years ago I wrote a letter to a young brother-in-the-Lord. Let’s call him Hiram. Here are some excerpts from that letter:
Dear Hiram, I have a very important word for you! WAIT!!! SLOW DOWN!!! You’re trying to live out tomorrow today. You can’t do that! You’ve got to live today FOR tomorrow. Today is the preparation for tomorrow. You cannot get to tomorrow until you have lived through today. Today is the training ground for tomorrow. Usually, it is a combination of education… (home and family living), experientially learning how to deal with tomorrow’s problems while someone else is in charge), relationships (dating, courtship, friendships, and all that). BE PATIENT, man! You’re only 20! Live your life a day at a time as God gives it to you, and don’t try to move into tomorrow before it comes!
I acknowledge [that] the pace is slow; it gets boring sometimes, but it’s better to be bored than buried in a situation you rush into and then find it’s all wrong, and you can’t find a way to extricate yourself. Look around you at the people you know are sunk in the mire of their own choosing, because they couldn’t wait and walk through the preparation stage.
Basic training was the most boring thing in the world for me and most soldiers, but I’d hate to go into battle without it. Number one, just to have a delay in [facing] the battle is a blessing. But to be ill-prepared for the battle is fatal.
I know you have been exposed to a lot of the mess of life in your own experiences, but the fact that you are out of them now, WITH THE ATTITUDE YOU HAVE, is only indicative that you just got out. You didn’t work through them. Hiram, there’s no super-spiritual answer; it’s just, “Work through!” We Christians must learn ENDURANCE, and there’s no way to learn ENDURANCE except to ENDURE.
You are jumping around like a cat on a hot tin roof! Slow down, Hiram, and give God enough time to get you into [His calling]! You said, “I don’t know where to go or what to do.” Take my advice. Stay where you are, and finish what you are doing. God knows where you are; He put you there. Fulfill His purpose by letting Him fulfill His purpose – in you. Give Him a chance. If Margot is worth spending a lifetime with, she’s worth waiting a few months for. Let her live out her learning period while you live out your learning period. It may be shocking to each of you what you learn about each other, but it will be better to learn it now, than after you’re hooked with each other. [Incidentally, Hiram married another gal – not Margot – and they have a precious family now.]
Hiram, you don’t have to know what God’s call is just yet. He knows, and only He knows. Let Him age you in the place where He has hidden you. He will bring maturity. Only God can give growth. No matter how much Man plows and waters, only God can give growth. Now – today – we must plow and water and wait and await tomorrow for the harvest. Chew over each day, Hiram, and get ALL the taste out of it. Don’t spit it out just because you don’t like it’s texture.
You say, “I’m scared of the future.” Great! So leave it alone! Don’t get into it until you have to. And of course, you know where that fear comes from. The devil is taking advantage of your impatience and [is] giving you a fit about the future; and God knows what the future holds. He’ll let you have an assurance on the day when He says, “MOVE OUT!”
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, No. 34, November 1983.