If Only I Knew Then
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If Only I Knew Then
By Dan Blankenship
Okay, teenagers 13 thru 18, ready for some advice? Iím not talking about a boring list of doís and doníts, but some real life, I learned the really, really, really hard way, advice that might make life a little bit easier when the time comes to fly solo out in the big scary (okay, itís not that scary) world.
First of all, do not be afraid to ask questions! Regardless of how stupid you think people view you if you ask what you consider to be a stupid question, youíll look even more foolish if you show up at a book discussion about the Left Behind series and think Chloe is pronounced exactly how it is spelled (emphasis on the ďCHĒ and dropping off the ďeĒ sound) and not ďKlo-ee.Ē Talk about turning red!
Secondly, avoid the credit card trap! I canít emphasize this enough. Credit cards shouldnít even be talked about in plural form, let alone actually exists in plural form inside a personís wallet. Seriously, study everything possible about credit cards and the disastrous road they can lead a person down. Credit cards at the beginning of my journey are a mistake I just recently gout out from under. Remember, I am 40!
Thirdly, never buy a house or rent an apartment that only leaves you with enough money for food and toilet paper! As stupid as this may seem, it is an everyday event across America. If home base doesnít allow for living expenses and unexpected expenses like car repairs, then it just makes absolutely no sense to sign the lease or purchase agreement. Make other arrangements like a roommate or a more affordable domain. This is the one area of my life where I have made very good choices and it has definitely paid off.
Next on the ďthis is not a boring listĒ list is to always expect the unexpected. Okay, right now youíre asking how anyone can expect the unexpected. Itís easy; whatever you think canít possibly happen to you, expect that it will.
You know that college class you think will be a breeze? Expect that the instructor might just be one of the worst course presenters you have ever encountered in your life.
You know that car youíre sure will not breakdown on the rainiest day in the past decade? Expect that it will not only break down but do so in the middle of a busy intersection.
Now Iím not saying that we should live our lives with a pessimistic attitude, but that we should be prepared for such events. Have an alternate college course in mind when you sign up for that ďlogicĒ class you thought would be about logic and not algebraic formulas. Have an umbrella in your car even though youíre driving a brand new Lexus. Prepare for the unexpected by expecting the little things in life to bite at your heels now and then.
And lastly, pray for guidance from above. No matter who you are, no matter what you encounter, there is no time in your life that God isnít able to hear your prayers. He is the same throughout the ages, and if He didnít care about your needs, your wants, your troubles, He would not have sent His Son to pull you from the devouring disease of sin. And He would have not built a wonderful new home where we will not need to prepare for obstacles, setbacks, or difficult college courses.
So as you embark on your journey forward, remember that the best advice one can receive is from an ancient textbook that offers ageless advice and was authored by the best advice giver in the universe.
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