I realize I am hardly unique in this observation, but it astonishes me when I think back to how naive and clueless I was, growing up. The things I feared, the people I tried to impress, the reckless decisions I made, the people I foolishly trusted, the times I shied away from doing what I knew was right…
When I go down this path, I often wonder whether “Future Bob” could have changed things. If only Present Bob could go back in time and have a talk with High School Bob or College Bob, wow the things I could tell him. Think about it: With the possible exception of my son, there is nobody to whom I would have given more careful, loving, and excellent advice, than my (say) 20-year-old self, from my current vantage point.
Yet here’s the kicker: What if right now, I got a knock on my door, and there was Future Bob? Even if he spent 30 minutes convincing me beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was legitimate, and even if I could agree with him that he had my best interest at heart, and that he had an unbelievable advantage over me in knowing the effects of various courses of action I am currently considering…would I still unconditionally obey him?
No, I don’t think I would. And by the same token, I think High School Bob would say, “Thanks for the advice, but I think I’m still doing it this way. And, uh, holy cow what happened to your hair and weight?”
If any of this made you chuckle, I have one last observation: Even Bible-believing Christians often willfully disobey what they know God wants them to do. As Goldmember would ask, “Ishn’t zhat veird?”