We get lots of advice all throughout our lifetime. And it comes from many different venues. For example: advice on the best schools, places to live and vacation, and places to dine. If you buy a book on Amazon, they are quick to advise you on other books that you should purchase. We are constantly bombarded with fashion advice. Still, it is hard to avoid advice. We are awash in it.
But among all the flotsam and jetsam of advice circulating through our lives, there are some gems. I suspect the best advice; the advice that changes our lives comes from people. People who know us and have insights into our heart’s desire, know the direction and heading of our life path, and who care for us. People who just might know us better than we know ourselves. It is great advice – and yet, for reasons explicable and not, we do not take the advice.
So…. what was the best advice you ever received and did not take?
If you are like most folks, the question will give you pause, and it will take a while as you parse through a lifetime of memories. You will likely retrieve a lifetime of little vignettes.
When I was four years old, I was scientifically exploring the spatial orientation of electromagnetic flux, materials suited for high-capacity electron transmission, and sustained tension and strain in curved geometric objects. I was advised not to do this. It was good advice. But ya’ know…. a bobby pin, splayed apart just right will indeed fit into an open wall socket. I should have taken the advice.
I should not have hopped a ride on that freight train. I should have put the lock on my bicycle. I should not have wandered down the street to get a closer look at that riot. And yes, I should have held onto my Intel Corporation stock a lot longer….it was all good advice. Makes you wonder why I did not heed it.
Of course, no advice really prepares us for everything in life. Such as sudden bad health news. Or death. Or an accident. Or the random, unpredictable actions of others. But we do have advice that helps us prepare for the future. Meteorologists can warn of hurricanes… and yet some people stubbornly stay put only realizing their error as they are swept away in the tidal surge and relentless winds. Doctors warn of the health risks of a high fat diet and smoking, but that doesn’t change the behavior of many. Financial advisors warn us to plan for retirement and not live beyond our means. It is quite easy to fly in the face of good advice and end up unprepared for a future event we were warned about.
I have some advice for you for this Advent. Do something life-changing—rediscover God’s mercy. Go to BestAdventEver.org and sign up for their daily emails. Each day in Advent you will receive a short video, words of encouragement, or spiritual coaching from influential Catholic voices of our age. This program might just transform your life,
relationships, work, and ability to embrace and experience all of life. Two to three minutes of your time each day; it is a commitment. But rediscovering God’s mercy… priceless.
We all have our own history with other’s advice. Lots of advice goes unheeded because we have so many things to do, to get done, to then ensure it all gets done, and then fret about how much we have left to do. We blink and Advent is over. Take my advice, don’t let it happen again this year. Have the best Advent ever.