Write a Letter

Every other week I get to hang out with 5 really cool people.

These youth interns (late teen to early 20’s) come over for dinner and we do life together. For the past year we have hung out around my large circular dinner table and just chatted about life.

Usually I’ll toss out a question for debate and discussion. Sometimes they bite, other times they quickly move on to quoting their favorite movie or something deep like that.

Last night I tossed out the following question – “If you could write yourself a letter and mail it back in time to yourself- to what date would you mail it and what would you write?”


They bit.

A few of the answers:

– “7th grade – don’t hang out with Bobby Mercer”

– “junior year – don’t go to Christy’s party”

– “9th grade – have more faith in myself…I don’t have to do that to fit in.”

– they made me tell mine – went back to the summer of 1985; eggs; fraternity; pizza man; and police. Enough said.

Some were hilarious others were sad. But everyone around the table had a letter to write.

Once we all shared, their eyes cut to me — waiting for the spiritual application of this exercise. For some reason I was still reminiscing back to that summer night in 1985, and had nothing. In typical good leader fashion, I bounced it back to them – “You tell ME the spiritual application!” They nailed it: Truth, forgiveness, discipleship, confession, group intimacy, humbleness.

Fun night.

And as Zack was leaving, he said “Hey Mr. Roy, you know there is a country song about this?” I didn’t, not being a country music fan, but I had to check it out…here are the lyrics to the Brad Paisley song:

If I could write a letter to me
And send it back in time to myself at 17
First I’d prove it’s me by saying look under your bed
There’s a Skoal can and a Playboy no one else would know you hid
And then I’d say I know its tough
When you break up after seven months
And yeah I know you really liked her and it just don’t seem fair
All I can say is pain like that is fast and it’s rare

1st Chorus
And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it’s hard to see past Friday night
She wasn’t right for you
And still you feel like there’s a knife sticking out of your back
And you’re wondering if you’ll survive
You’ll make it through this and you’ll see
You’re still around to write this letter to me

At the stop sign at Tomlinson and Eighth
Always stop completely don’t just tap your brakes
And when you get a date with Bridgett make sure the tank is full
On second thought forget it that one turns out kinda cool
Each and every time you have a fight
Just assume you’re wrong and dad is right
And you should really thank Mrs. Brinkman
She spent so much extra time
It’s like she sees the diamond underneath
And she’s polishing you ‘til you shine

2nd Chorus
And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it’s hard to see past Friday night
Tonight’s the bonfire rally
But you’re staying home instead because if you fail Algebra
Mom and dad will kill you dead
Trust me you’ll squeak by and get a C
And you’re still around to write this letter to me

You’ve got so much up ahead
You’ll make new friends
You should see your kids and wife
And I’d end by saying have no fear
These are nowhere near the best years of your life

I guess I’ll see you in the mirror
When you’re a grown man
P.S. go hug Aunt Rita every chance you can

3rd Chorus
And oh you got so much going for you going right
But I know at 17 it’s hard to see past Friday night
I wish you’d study Spanish
I wish you’d take a typing class
I wish you wouldn’t worry, let it be
I’d say have a little faith and you’ll see

If I could write a letter to me
To me

If you could write that letter – what would it say? More importantly, who would you share it with. Someone younger than you needs to know what you now know.  They need you to pour your life into them.

Write on….


One response to this post.

  1. Awesome idea. I might use this in the small group I lead…

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