What if I told you that you could teach and inform the younger version of yourself?
A friend of mine shared with me a Timehop post from 8 years ago. It was for a Facebook event we were promoting on campus. Here’s the description we wrote up:
This is a chance for students to come together as family in Christ and share their thoughts and feelings with each other about life and faith. It’s a town hall meeting with the purpose of growing and connecting with each other. Cause we don’t do it enough. Come with thoughts and ideas that you are normally afraid to bring up in public. Coffee will be supplied….BYOM (Bring Your Own Mugs)
If I can remember correctly this was spawned out of too many late night conversations about church and community and the two of us thinking that other people might feel the same way we did but didn’t want to say anything out loud. I think 4 people might have showed up, and no, we didn’t change the world.
We talked about that event for awhile and Scott asked the question “How do you think that conversation would go if us now were there?” What would 8 years later Tim and Scott say to our idealistic kinda angry versions of ourselves? That got me to thinking.
What if I told you that you could teach and inform the younger version of yourself? That you were able to affect the future. You could make things different. Would you believe me? Well, you can … and can’t.
No you can’t go back in time (yet) and change things for yourself. But, you can mold change and affect the next generation. I don’t need to go set 8 years ago Tim straight and teach him about church and leadership and discipleship, he’ll figure that stuff out on his own. But what I, and in turn you, can do is go and pour into someone else. You have experiences that others don’t have. You have gone through things regardless of your age or experience, that others haven’t yet. Find them.
This is much of what the New Testament church was built on. Older Christians pouring into younger Christians. Paul teaching and training Timothy so that he could train and teach other Christians. That’s one of the reasons there is a church still around for us today. Because people took the time to invest in the next generation. Whether it was their kids, or just younger people in the church, there was a value and importance placed on passing down the knowledge and passion from one generation to the next.
This isn’t even a specifically Christian thing. If you aren’t a Christian you can still do this. You have life experiences and skills that others don’t, pass it along. You can mentor a kid at an after school program, you can volunteer at a hospital, you can find someone at work and teach them a bit of what you know. Didn’t someone do that for you at some point?
This is one of the ways we can begin to bring light to this dark broken world. What would it look like if you found someone and poured into them and offered a view of your life to them? With no agenda, no hope of getting something in return, just to show love. Just to encourage and support. What would the church look like if we began to stop looking at the “millennials” as people instead of a demographic? This can be for anyone. The high schooler can pour into the junior higher who can build relationships with the awana kids. In the church we call it discipleship. You spend time with someone, encouraging and teaching. Walking alongside that person and be active in their life.
What would the church look like if we began to stop looking at the “millennials” as people instead of a demographic?
I am who I am because men and women decided to invest their time and energy into me. The allowed me into their lives to see the good and the bad. They taught, they laughed, they rebuked, they shot pool with me, they helped me grow. And I’m not even talking about people older than me. I have been blessed with guys in my life who are my peers that have taught me and spoken into my life in highly important ways. My wife challenges and motivates me on a daily basis, and has been long before I put a ring on that.
So Neo, it’s pill choosing time. Do you take the blue pill and let everything stay the same, and over time get worse? Or, do you take the red pill and engage life and affect the future?
No, you can’t go back and speak into you from 8 years ago, but you can alter someone else’s future.