1. I will never fail to realize how dangerous it is to say “I will never.” Even so, these are convictions I resolve to uphold and won’t shrink from committing to.
2. I will never desert my convictions, nor fail to contend earnestly for the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. If that doesn’t mean something, then nothing means anything. Convictionless living is a meaningless existence because it plants nothing and harvests nothing, making the net gain ‘zero.’ If life means nothing, then cut me a big, long line of coke and get out of my way (that’s my translation of the book of Ecclesiastes).
3. I will never shirk the responsibilities I have to my family, my wife, and children. Those commitments were a free-will decision made by myself to myself and to God.
4. I will never live in fear or regret. I must live in fearless abandon, feverishly pursuing ultimate reality and absolute truth, without holding anything back. Why ‘save’ my vitality? What would I save it for, anyway?
5. I will never secretly wish I could ‘trade places’ with anyone else, known or unknown. I live the life I dream about… and if I wanted someone else’s life, I would simply change mine.
6. I will never want to live “way out” with lots of land. That’s just not how I think. I like to visit those places, but have no interest in living there. Most people feel exactly the opposite, and that’s cool.
7. I will never fail to be grateful that I can see, hear, and walk– things important for gaining the fullness of the human experience
8. I will never want to own a cat, a llama, a monkey, a large dog that sheds, a hamster, mouse, gerbil, or other vermin-turned pet.
9. I will never accept status quo. I’d rather unquo the status. The status quo is for people who don’t mind being in the ‘heap.’ I’d rather be on top of the heap– it’s a better view.
10. I will never own a car with a bad stereo system or buy an automobile I hate because it gets good mileage. Life’s too short to drive a car you despise.
11. I will never stop celebrating life and existence. However, wild and wooly, life is the most amazing adventure and enterprise ever imagined. People who have a problem with life suffer from an errant perspective; usually their error is in thinking that pain and suffering makes life bad or unbearable. The truth is that we can always handle the “what” if we know the “why.” If a person doesn’t ‘get’ the “why,” he or she should go on an unmitigated search to discover why or life will always confuse them.
12. I will never stop loving my favorite music: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eddie Money, CDB, Kansas, Fleetwood Mac, Journey, and all manner of Arena Rock.
13. I will never stop making excuses for writing a book until I make or find time to write them. Hopefully I’ll get my ducks in a row soon. I’ve been unable to make it a priority up until now. Frustrating.
14. I will never, ever, ever, ever stop feeling the pain of losing my mother at the age of 58, my dear beloved grandmother at 83, and others I have loved and lost.
15. I will never fail to have a profound, nearly irrational love for my twin brother Teddy (Nashville, TN) and my brother and sister (Kevin Windle/Kelli Hinkle).
16. I will never stop celebrating the virtues of the good men and women in uniform, serving the United States with distinction, in places known and unknown, to the four corners of the earth.
17. I will never fully understand why or how God can forgive each of us from our dastardly deeds and how, after being forgiven, any Christian can actually withhold forgiveness from another human being. Withholding forgiveness places us, not necessarily the offender, in terrific bondage.
18. I will never forget where I came from. I’ll always let it shape me as I count my blessings, one by one.
19. I will never forget, nor fail to honor, those who have benefited me in ways big and small. I won’t ever fail to appreciate those who have, in any way, shown me kindness, grace, and mercy.
20. I will never tire of traveling to amazing places, doing amazing things with incredible people, and having new, novel experiences. One of the greatest ways to be impoverished is by failing to meet interesting people, to go to interesting places, or to read about them.