Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Breaking the Barrier

Lately I’ve been noticing that there is a wall that keeps teens from overcoming different things such as low expectations, pre-marital sex, and the downhill slide of our culture. This seems to be a very prominent problem that no one seems to want to change.

How come there is a barrier that is restricting teens today? Who put that in place, and why aren’t people trying to overcome it? I think it is the teens that allowed this wall to be built. This barrier gives teens an excuse to not work hard and do big things.

I kind of feel like Marlin and Dory from “Finding Nemo.” In the middle of the movie, Dory and Marlin have to break through the “EAC” (East Australian Current) in order to continue on their quest. The EAC is a current of turtles all swimming in the same direction at high speeds. Dory and Marlin have to jump off a sea turtle’s back in order to get outside the current. As soon as they have accomplished this, Marlin and Dory sit there watching the current go by.

I feel like I have just jumped off the turtle’s back and am waiting outside the current for everyone else to follow. I sit there waiting and waiting, but no one will join me. There is always one who jumps outside the current, but then quickly dives back in when things get uncomfortable.

I daily have to make the choice to go against the cultural norm to be different, and it is not easy. It is sometimes a very lonely decision, unless you are fully relying on God. You can make the decision to be different, but it won’t make a difference unless you are being different for Christ! That is a critical element to not being lonely.

I have broken the barrier of low expectations in several different ways. First of all, I am homeschooled. That automatically makes me different. I value family time above all activities, and my mom is my best friend. I would much rather be best friends with my mom than a peer, because she can provide comfort and wisdom. Being friends with peers is not a bad thing, but it is easy to be pulled into things by those who are no wiser than you.

I also choose to keep my body as pure as possible. Whether it is choosing not to curse or use mild profanities or going to the point where I am saving even my first kiss for my wedding day, people often look at me and think I am STRANGE. I’m pretty accustomed to being thought of as “weird”, and it doesn’t really bother me anymore. In a culture where sex, drugs, and profanity is rampant, I am definitely breaking the barrier.

My country is being held captive by low expectations, and I am determined not to let it ensnare me. I am willing to work as hard as possible to reverse the idea that teens are not capable of working hard or being young adults. A “teen” is really just an overgrown child.

When someone calls me a “teen”, I say, “No, I am a young adult.” I am determined not to let my age get in the way of my abilities. Just because I am in between the ages of 13-18, does not mean I have to sink to that level! I can be excellent in all my work, whether hugely important or something small like keeping my room clean.

Please understand that because someone calls you a teen does not mean that you have to act like it. Our generation needs to raise the expectations of our world so that we can make a difference for God in everything we do. Make the decision to break the barrier of low expectations so that you can do great things for Jesus now, without having to wait until you are an adult. God does not care if you are 14 or 65…He created you to do big things now.

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