Wow, eighteen years old and the whole world and most of your life before you! What a time to live! What extraordinary opportunities and challenges await you! We live in a very needy world. Imagine the difference you can make in it? Life is too short to be lived in a small way. Grab the brass ring and go for it 110%.
Think about the wonderful home God placed you in! And the first rate education you have been privileged to receive up to this point. I am reminded of Jesus statement, From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Lk. 12:48) With privilege comes increased responsibility.
Bill, I would like you to consider four concepts:
Intimacy: Christ wants to know you, and you to know Him. Deeply. Personally. But this wont happen on the back stroke. Regular time with Him in his word and prayer is a matter of spiritual life and death. Make it your intention to travel with a company of strong disciples of Christ. Make the pursuit of Him your number one priority, and you will be astounded at the quality of life He will give back to you. Paul laid it out in saying, All the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificantdog dung. I've dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ. (Phil. 3:8 Msg.)
Commitment: Half baked commitment to God or anything is a dead end street, and a losers game. It is Gods intention to enlist you in making a difference in the lives of people for His Glory and Kingdom. So give it your best shot. Here is how Jesus put it: If anyone wants to follow in my footsteps, he must give up all right to himself, carry his cross every day and keep close behind me. For the man who wants to save his life will lose it, but the man who loses his life for my sake will find it. For what is the use of a man gaining the whole world if he loses or forfeits his own soul. (Lk. 9:23-25 – Philips Translation)
Accountability: Have a blast with this thing we call life. Push out the walls and live it to the fullest. Just keep in mind Solomons caution: You who are young, make the most of your youth. Relish your youthful vigor. Follow the impulses of your heart. If something looks good to you, pursue it. But know also that not just anything goes; You have to answer to God for every last bit of it. (Ecc. 11:9 Msg)
Responsibility: Bill, we live in a hurting and confused world. Our country is in crisis both economically and spiritually. By any measure, we as a nation are in decline. Most of the rest of the world is in desperate straits. You and I have the solution: The Gospel of Christ. Whatever profession you choose, from driving truck to running a company, use it as a platform for helping people discover Christ, to feed the poor, to bring hope and solutions to a suffering world. This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. (1 Jn. 3:16-18)
As a young man I chose to seriously follow Christ. After 57 years I can tell you it has been an extraordinary experience, worth every second of it! Join me in the adventure!