Oct 30, 2013

Fifteen at Fifteen

Fifteen things I learned at age fifteen:
  1. The world is breathtakingly vast and diverse.
  2. People are actually kind of amazing.
  3. Excellence is not an act, but a habit. (Thanks, Aristotle.)
  4. The love of the internet is the source of all procrastination.
  5. The best way to get something done is to just do it. No complaints, no distractions, no excuses. (I’m still trying to learn this one.)
  6. Winning an argument is not worth losing a friend.
  7. I am not the most important person in the world I am not the most important person in the world I am not the most important person in the world.
  8. Christianity is not a social club or a chance to showcase one's holiness.
  9. I may be the only Bible that someone is reading. People around me who don't know Christ could very well be forming their views on Christianity based on my actions. I’ve seen people act one way in church and another way in everyday life, and although those experiences caused me at first to stumble in confusion and frustration, they taught me to be careful in how I act. As a Christian, I am a new creation, saved by grace; I should act as such, inside and outside the church.
  10. The life of a Christian is a training process. There will be failures, and that’s okay. It is through my weaknesses, after all, that God’s strength is most seen.
  11. The opinions of others do not define me, nor do the spiteful comments I hammer into my head. Pam said it perfectly when she wrote, "I’ve learned that you don’t have to force yourself to be like other people so you can learn to love yourself. It will never work. The only way to loving yourself is allowing the King of kings to show you how He sees you. And then you start looking at yourself the way He does. You begin to see yourself in a way you’ve never thought you deserved. You realize that He loves you so much, and He is delighted with you; you accept that truth. Then as you grow in Him, you grow also in loving yourself. It is His love that will make you genuinely love yourself." Having experienced this for myself, all I can say is a big, big, big amen.
  12. No matter how often I fail, no matter how far I wander, God is always faithful. His arms are wide open, ready to forgive me and help me get back on the right path. 
  13. On the other hand, God’s faithfulness is not an excuse for me to continue living in sin. Rather, it’s this grace, I've realized, that makes me want to live a better life.
  14. God > boys. I’ve never entered a romantic relationship, had my heart broken, or fallen in love, but the area of boys and romance is one in which I’ve constantly struggled. Though I still do at times, I know now that the love story God has written for me is a thousand times better than any story I could ever force into my life. Sixteen is around the age you’re expected to find your first love--the Young Adult section of my library can attest to this--but as for me, sixteen will lead me closer to the One who truly loves me and whose love is really all I need. 
  15. Growing up is not as bad as I thought it would be. Yesterday I turned sixteen, and even though the thought of growing older terrifies me a little, I'm glad because I'm no longer the person I once was. I've developed new worldviews, experienced new things, and learned so much, and none of it would have been possible if I hadn't grown older. While I'm still far from being the person I want to become, I know I’m right where I’m meant to be. And that keeps me looking forward to the years to come. So sixteen? Bring it on.