Just Beyond the Riverbend
When I was a little kid, probably around ten or even younger, I remember once hearing someone say, “It’s tough being a teen.” To my ears, this sounded like the biggest piece of bologna (I can’t believe that’s how you spell it!) I’d ever heard. Being a teenager sounded great. Slumber parties, makeovers, driving in cars with friends blasting Hilary Duff on the radio. (Although, looking back, I don’t think any self-respecting teen would blast Hilary Duff on the radio. Or the Dixie Chicks, whom I also adored at the time) No cares, no worries, and perfect hair.
Then I became a teenager. Thirteen. Braces. Ick. And then fourteen. High school. Algebra. Biology. Double ick. And then fifteen, and all the responsibilities that come with that. And before I knew it, I found myself saying aloud to someone, “It’s tough being a teen.”
Whoa. Hold on there. When did all this become tough? When did worrying about driving and college and what my life was going to look like beyond the next two years become so important to me?
Reflecting on all of these questions led me to a whole new perspective on the life of the American teenager, and caused me to rephrase my original sentence. It’s since been amended to this: “It’s scary being a teen.”
Because, when you come right down to it, it really is scary. For the past fifteen years, I’ve basically been living in a bubble, so to speak. The most pressing thing in the world is school. The most annoying thing is chores. The most exciting thing is when you’re done with school and chores and can actually do something else. That is life. That is how my world operates.
But there’s a whole big world out there beyond school and chores that I know almost nothing about right now. The world of work and house payments and medical insurance and love and pain and other words that make me cringe when I hear them. A world that will suddenly come crashing down on me two years from now, in the summer of 2013, when I’m finished with school and chores and finally an adult.
That’s what’s scary about being a teenager. It’s not just having do deal with mood swings and no one understanding it’s no one’s fault but your own if you fail miserably at it.
My mom was encouraging me yesterday to look beyond the scope the next few years and pray about what God wants me to do with my life. What are his plans for me in the next five years? The next fifteen years? The next two decades? It’s time for me to start looking at the bigger picture. Not just what’s coming around this riverbend, but what the whole river looks like. How can I use my life, and my time, and my talents to sail down that river as a champion for the Lord?
It’s tough being a teenager. It’s really, really scary being a teenager. And I’m sure things don’t clear up any once you’re an adult. But, until then, I guess I’ve just gotta keep praying that God will make things clearer for me. And if any of you figure all this out, please send me an email and let me know. Cause I’m still scratching my head most of the time. 🙂