Sometimes we feel like we are too done or mature to change, but the desire and power to change is within you. Don’t let it escape! I share, as an example, the story of a grandfather who changed his life.
The story of an old man
I have always liked to hear, over and over again, that a person tell me their life. One never imagines what they have had to go through and what decisions they have made that have led them to be who they are now. There are fascinating stories full of courage, enthusiasm and perseverance, but there is one in particular that has taught me an important lesson in my life.
A few years ago, I met a wonderful, loving, kind and helpful grandfather who always strived to help his children and grandchildren to be united as a family, as well as to be good people. Many members of his family had little by little diverted their path, finding themselves far from being what this grandfather wanted, for which he suffered constantly.
The change is in you
Many people told him to stop worrying about his children, to enjoy his old age, his grandchildren, his retirement, but he ignored it. He kept looking for them, serving them and inviting them to be better people, but always with poor results.
Someone once asked him why he kept trying to bring his children back to the path of good. Coincidentally I was there to hear the answer. He commented that he was a military man all his life. He lived a life away from his family due to the constant travel that his job required, living among people with different customs, beliefs and ideologies. He spent so much time alone that he easily got carried away by the passions of the moment, vices and selfishness. When he returned home and saw his family, instead of enjoying them, he would spend time in a bad mood or easily lose patience with his children, so he preferred to spend time with his friends in seedy places.
When it came time for his retirement, his children had grown up far from him and his loving wife was now elderly. He remembered all the nights his partner and their children begged him to stay with them or to accompany them to church, and he felt great remorse. It was too late to get them back, it had been a long time and now he was old.
He spent some time depressed and lonely, until his wife, who had never lost her love or hope in him, made a simple loving comment that changed his life: “The change is within you.”
All for love
This grandfather says that those words deeply penetrated his heart and he decided that, despite his advanced age, it was still time to erase everything, to start over. And so he did: taking that phrase, «the change is within you», as a constant source of motivation, he fought against his bad habits, acquired good habits, asked for forgiveness and began to give all the love that he had saved for so many years. That’s why he did it, out of love, to make up for lost time and show the world that it’s never too late to turn back for his family.
Every time I remember the story of that man, I think that there is always time to give another chance, to ask for forgiveness, to be better. The decisions we make today will always affect our future, but it doesn’t have to be for the worse; that is why there is repentance and forgiveness. As Dr. Russell M. Nelson once said, “The wise use of freedom to make your own decisions is crucial to your spiritual growth, now and in eternity. They will never be too young to learn, nor too old to change. Your desire to learn and change stems from a divinely infused yearning to progress eternally. Each day provides the opportunity to make decisions for eternity. “
Every time I make a mistake or stray a little from my family, sooner or later those words come to me “You will never be too young to learn, nor too old to change” and “The change is within you.” Although it is difficult to recover what was lost, we will always hope that there is a second chance.