Dear Teenager Who Wants to Do It All
To The Teenager Who Really Wants to Do Everything
From the moment you get up to the late-night hours, you go.
Your non-stop schedule full of hard classes, work, sports, youth group, and an active social life keeps you going all day, every day. In your spare time, you want to feed the homeless, build houses, and travel to Ghana to play with those precious children you sent me pictures of while begging incessantly to go.
I keep getting their emails thanks to your inquiry, along with many other mission trips you’ve applied for.
And I love this about you. I really do.
I love your heart, your passion that is lit on fire to do all the things, see all the people, and go to all the places.
You want to do it all, don’t you?
You don’t want to miss a thing.
And you actually believe you can do it all…
But, your tired eyes and sniffling nose say otherwise.
When I worry that you are getting sick, run down, exhausted from it all, you confidently declare you are fine.
I love your strength, your endurance, and your relentless will.
I love that you believe you can manage the ridiculously busy life you created for yourself. But here’s the thing, sweetie.
Life is a marathon, not a race.
If you sprint hard and fast for too long, you’ll run out of steam and you might even fall.
I know you don’t believe me, because you think you are invincible and you can’t imagine not doing all you’re doing. You get frustrated when I say no to this, no to that.
You think I’m just being too cautious, too careful, too critical…
You think you know better.
But I will teach you what you don’t yet know.
I will show you how to run the race with a pace that will keep you from falling before the finish line.
Because sweet girl, you have a long, long, way to go.
You see, I have been you. I know what it’s like to want to do everything, be everything, have a passion for so many things. I remember those days filled with packed schedules and endless days of going and doing allthethings while running the race.
I also remember collapsing under the weight of all I was attempting to carry.
And I’m afraid you might collapse too.
The truth is…
You can’t do it all.
But you can do what is most important today and dream for many more opportunities to come in all the tomorrows that lie ahead…
You are just at the starting line of this race and there is a long winding road ahead full of new scenery to take in with every turn.
You have the rest of your life to dive into your dreams and swim off into the horizon full of possibility and promise.
These are the years when you’re discovering the endless opportunities this world has to offer and in your youthful innocence, you haven’t yet learned how to manage it all.
It’s my job to show you how.
It’s my job to teach you how to plan your course so you stay on the right track.
It’s my job to help you prioritize what’s most important right now.
It’s my job to pull you out of the race and make you rest, refuel, recover.
It’s my job to guide you in understanding why you need to set limits.
It’s my job to show you how to take care of yourself along the way.
It’s my job to steer you on a more manageable trail now so you can endure the long road ahead later.
It’s my job to launch you into this world capable of keeping pace in the race.
It’s my job to remind you over and over again that you have the rest of your life to run this marathon.
So, go ahead and dream, search for all those grand opportunities and hold onto that burning fire that lights you up every day.
Keep all the possibilities and all your potential open and alive…
But for today, you need to do your chores, finish your homework, and get to practice.
For today, that’s enough.