Tidbits of Wisdom from a 50-Year-Old

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.

One thought on “Tidbits of Wisdom from a 50-Year-Old

  1. Jason, thanks for sharing this. Your friend has some great wisdom. (not unlike yourself!) And please thank him for me, for allowing me to benefit from his wisdom.

    The point that challenged me the most was “Create a life counsel for yourself.” I’m challenged to make more of an effort to identify some other men, and actually open myself to them more. More than just once a year! When I’m desperate!

    An essential member of my life counsel is certainly my wife. The more I trust her with my thoughts and feelings, and the more I really listen to her, the better my life is.

    She also mentioned that I should come up with a list of “tidbits of wisdom” or “life rules” of my own, that I’ve come to find myself living by, or aspiring toward.

    Is Kevin’s complete list available anywhere?

    It’s kinda funny… I read this post a few days ago. I think it probably hit me at a time when I’m thinking a lot of very similar things. My thoughts have come back to this post several times over the past few days, so I thought I should let you know that it’s the kind of thing that is sticking with me.

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