I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my high school years. I have looked back at the happy, sad, and even just the neutral moments. Ya know, I always felt pretty privileged to be able to say I go to a Christian school, but it seems to be that the one I attended was usually anything but that. If you are my friend, I can guarantee you have heard this rant from me a time too many, but seriously.
For instance, I look at my friends who went to “the big scary you’ll have to do drugs if you go there” high schools and I quickly realize they didn’t even do anything close to that. Maybe that’s the thing; When you aren’t forced to have bible verses memorized to get the A, when you don’t need to attend a chapel where staff tells you (in a sneaky, but “holy” way) all the sins you have committed (even if you haven’t), when you don’t need to compete with your money to buy affection from your teachers, you see- when all that disappears…
IT’S ALL YOUR CHOICE.
You chose. And that wasn’t just the assignment for your bible class.
This all really hit me when I was reading, Blue like Jazz, and I will be happy to admit that this book was recommended to me by the one sane teacher who was actually on to something at school.
Don Miller writes, “If you would have asked me, I suppose I would have told you there was a God, but I could not have formulated a specific definition based on my personal experience. Perhaps it was because my Sunday School classes did much to help me memorize the commandments and little to teach us who God was and how to relate to Him, or perhaps it was because they did and I wasn’t listening…”
Ultimately, this is where it all came together. I am sure this quote is pretty self-explanatory. But the thing I connected with the most was the fact that I have been in that plave. I have walked down this path with an impersonal God. I know I cannot blame anyone for it, but it would have helped to have someone try and show me the loving, gracious, reliable side of who God is rather than bribe me to reflect on scripture to help my GPA. The sad part is (if history continues to repeat itself) I’m going to be only one of the few that actually realizes this.
I have lost of count of how many people walk into that school not knowing exactly what they want, but leave knowing they don’t want God.
And above all the flaws, this is what hurts my heart the most.
“I am early in my story, but I believe I will stretch out into eternity, and in heaven I will reflect upon these early days, these days when it seemed God was down a dirt road, walking toward me. Years ago He was a swinging speck in the distance; now He is close enough I can hear His singing. Soon I will see the lines on His face.”—Don Miller, Blue like Jazz