I had the distinct privilege of hanging out with one of my Florida buddies for his birthday last night. He celebrated his birthday in the morning as he does every year with a no-hands front-flip.
Kevin Conklin is unique both in that he looks 40 instead of 50, and that he is in better shape than most people I know under 30. A former college wrestler in a light weight class, Kevin is still ferocious and determined.
Kevin has been kind enough to work with me on discovering some of the warped views I have on who God is and how he relates to me. Our friendship is just beginning, but I trust the guy because he lived in his car at the beach for a few weeks to reconnect with God.
So last night at his birthday party, he had been asked to write down some of the wisdom he has gained in all those years. Here are a few tidbits that hit home for me I asked permission from him to share:
- Pray, don’t talk about prayer or study about it – pray!
- Be sure to learn a new hobby every couple years – it’s fun and stimulating and keeps you humble but good at a lot of things.
- [Jesus] is truly faithful and loves you more deeply than anyone. There are no shortcuts to this relationship. Tend to it, nurture it and keep it creative.
- Guard your heart! He is the source of your strength and peace.
- Love deeply again and again no matter how much it hurts when it doesn’t work out, being lonely and regretful is no way to live.
- Trials are your friends, for they truly forge your character. You have what it takes and you should embrace these trials as gifts, not hassles or as some form of punishment. They make you stronger, more real, teach you the best lessons…
- Attitude and effort are two things you have control over, the rest you really don’t.
- Make memories, you must be spontaneous and intentional … otherwise you will become a spectator, regretful and for sure boring.
- Live today, don’t hold tightly to yesterday and don’t bank on tomorrow, we have this moment, right now. What will you do with it?
- Create a life counsel for yourself. People who love you most, know you best, want the best for you and are willing to speak the truth in love to you.
- Believe the best in people first and then let their life determine the rest.