When I think back over high school, my memory seems dark. Not that I can’t see those times, just that the actual memories are tinged with a bit of darkness.
I was neither the most popular kid nor the best athlete. It was a small school and everyone knew everyone else. This was good and bad at the same time. It was competitive both academically and socially and I was just good enough in both areas to not get lost… but it wasn’t easy.
It was the start for me that was always the most difficult.
When expectations are high and you aren’t sure what is required of you (or where to go in some cases), things can seem a bit dark. You start to pull into yourself, batten down the hatches, and desire to retreat to the video game or book or whatever else you are good at.
The hardest part of all this, especially at the start of the school year, is perspective. It’s very, very easy to lose sight of what is most important. (And, no, it’s not what skin you have in Fort Nite.)
In his very entertaining book, Living with a Seal, author Jesse Itzler is taught the lesson of protecting the primary. “You do whatever you have to do to protect your primary, Jessie,” said Seal during one conversation. Whether it’s your family, your bank account, your education, etc., you have to do whatever you have to do to protect your primary.
As a Christian, of course, our primary is to be our connection with Jesus. Through our relationship with, belief in and knowledge of Him, all else we do springs.
When some good comes out of our behavior, He’s led it. Those moments when you’ve felt really full in the spiritual or joyful or peaceful ways? It’s been because you let Him lead.
You literally become the light on the hill of which Jesus speaks in Matthew 5. That transformation is glorious… and it draws others to you.
Whenever something bad comes out of us, it’s normally our ego or desire to control. It’s our fear and anxiety. Ultimately, this comes from our lack of connection to the teachings of Jesus.
This is an easy situation to find yourself in at the start of the school year. The new classes, teachers to get to know, books to keep track of, friendships to restart, etc. It’s easy to lose track of the primary in these situations.
However, the sooner you get back to improving your relationship with Christ, the more you’ll shine. While it won’t always make your school time easier – Jesus isn’t going to write that history paper for you – deepening your connection to Him will lead to the ultimate good.
The more you focus on Him, the more your actions and future will shine.
Best of luck to you in the new school year!
*Photo by Jordon Conner on Unsplash