I wrote a letter to my eighteen year-old grandson attending a Military Academy I want to share with you. I’m hopeful that a young person might benefit from it. My grandson is from a broken home in need of encouragement and discipline. Discipline of the body, soul, and spirit.

Rungalk, I want to share something with you that I wished someone told me when I was your age. I, too, grew up in a broken home. Your great-grandfather died and my siblings and I became pretty much on our own. I was a “parentified child” in our home and lost my childhood. When God found me, I realized that I had a lot to learn as a human being made in the image of God. I regained my child-like self that was buried deep within my heart by forgiving everyone who hurt me even those who never offered an apology. Some say, “Life’s sucks and then you die.” But life is wonderful through all its ups and downs. You decide. Life is what you make of it.

The genius of Jesus’ ministry is that he reveals how God uses tragedy, suffering, pain, and betrayal, and death itself (all of which are normally inevitable), not to punish us but, in fact, to bring us to God and to our True Self. In other words, we grow up as an individual. We mature through life with what is given us. So don’t waste your pain. They are your best teacher throughout your lifetime. I know there are times when you would rather watch TV on weekends, play with your friends, or sleep in on Saturday mornings and eat whatever you want. Lol. That’s a dead life. You’re very fortunate to be there at this time of your life. This is your training ground to become a man. My father used to say, ‘if you’re assigned to clean to the toilet, do it to your very best. Someday you will be a husband and a father who, like a gardener, will protect, provide, and profess love and affection to your family. So hang in there… the best is yet to come. Remember, life is what you make of it… a journey to the best version of yourself. The road is long with all its beauty and afflictions. Don’t give up. Take time to view your surroundings, breath in its beauty, and learn from its afflictions.

Your first destination is to graduate with integrity and honor, doing your very best. No comparison as everyone is unique as each thumb print. There’s only one of you in the whole universe. Just do your best. Practice to live in the “now” – making each moment count. Pay attention with all of yourself… your mind, your body, your emotions, and your freewill. Be all there!

Treat others as you would have others treat you with respect. Maintain your self-respect. Self-righteousness criticizes, judges that kills your self-respect. Remember I love you.

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