Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)
TITLE: Being the Now
By Donna Powers
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So, last night I got Parent Lecture #45 again. You’ve probably heard it, too. It starts out: ”When I was your age…”, morphs into: “Your attitude needs some serious readjustment, young lady…” and ends with the ever-popular: “Do you want to be flipping burgers for the rest of your life?”
Like they think that’s gonna motivate me. As if.
But, it did get me thinking about some serious stuff. We both know that the tired speeches don’t make Impact One on our brains. You and the others at the youth group are probably the only ones who will understand when I say that even though there’s probably a part of me that admires and respects the parents, they really don’t get it about how our heads work.
So here’s what I’m thinking.
You know how Pastor Miller is always telling us that we’re the Future of the Church? How we can develop ourselves now, and build a Foundation for the Future? How the adults need to help us grow into people who can spread the Good News and reach the world for Jesus?
Come to think of it, his sermons are kind of holier versions of those Parent Lectures, although of course he throws some Bible verses on top of them like a bunch of sacred parsley.
Whoa. I was getting off-track. But here’s the point: I don’t want to be the Future. I want to be the Now.
I’ve got all this energy and all these ideas inside my head. I know that some of it has to get plugged into school, and if I don’t pick a college soon, my dad is gonna go ballistic. And if my brain doesn’t kick in soon, I know I’m gonna fail that Math test next Tuesday. Don’t even get me started on cleaning my room or washing the dishes. Been there. Heard that. But, I think there’s stuff we could do now – if we could only figure out how.
We both know there’s kids at school who do drugs. There’s guys who brag about how many girls they’ve scored with, and we know who those girls are, too. There’s other girls, who bring their neatly packed lunches to school, ditch them in the trash and then go puke in the bathroom. And then there’s the kids who pretend that they’re Goth – but everybody hears them talking about Wicca. Don’t they know that stuff can really mess up your head?
So who’s gonna tell them the truth about God? A teacher? A pastor? A counselor? Not a snowball’s chance in… well, you know where.
But we could reach them. We could be their Now.
I know that you think Brother Mark is awesome. I agree he’s a really nice guy, but lately all he has us doing in youth group is a quick devotional and then sitting around playing Bible Pictionary. Don’t get me wrong, that’s fun and I don’t want to stop. But maybe we can do more. Maybe we could pray, and learn about what to say when one of those Goth kids is standing right next to us at his locker, and the Spirit whispers “It’s time….”
I’ve seen the look on your face sometimes, during the invitation at church. I know what you’re thinking, because it’s the same thing that I am: if I only knew what I don’t know, I could ask someone to help me find whatever it is that I need to know. You know?
Because it really is all about Now. It’s part of the faces of every kid at our school. It’s buried under my pile of dirty socks, and crammed between the pages of my notebook. It’s just beyond how hot Bobby Sutton looks in his red board shorts. It’s part of the energy of our football games, and it’s inside the music that comes out of my clarinet. It’s down deep, in a dust-covered Bible that I don’t know enough about because most adults can only see us as the Future. They can’t see beyond our mistakes to reach the parts of us that aren’t mistakes.
So what do you say? Are you up for it? Wanna be part of the Now?
Gotta go. Mom’s starting Lecture #27 now. It’s the old: “Do you think that your dinner dishes wash themselves?” routine. Good old mom. Wonder if she can help.
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