Perhaps you are going into your last few weeks of high school thinking to yourself, How will I be remembered?
Maybe you are the Valedictorian, class president, sports MVP, FCA leader, and teacher's pet. Maybe you are down on yourself because you have been mixed in with the wrong crowd. Maybe you don't ever want to step into another classroom in your life, or maybe you are roaming the hallowed halls of your high school dressed in the colors of your future college. Wherever you may be in the journey of graduation, whoever you may be in the hierarchy of high school, let me speak this truth to you:
People will not remember what you did, how you dressed, the organizations you belonged to, or your class rank. People will remember the way you made them feel. Your fellow graduates will remember the time you stood up for the kid with no friends. They will remember how you stood against the majority when the majority wasn't right. It will no longer matter what you did in the temporary; it will matter what you did for the eternal. What have you done that will be remembered?
Dear senior, you matter. Your impact in the halls of your high school will have lasting effects. When you speak words of encouragement and brighten someone's day, they will remember that. You have the power to impact the lives of those around you. By shining your radiant light, you give others the power and courage to do the same.
Dear senior, college is just around the corner. You are excited. You are nervous. You are ready to be on your own, but not quite ready to leave. You are stressed about what to pack. You are concerned about how you should act. You are constantly being told that you are walking into the best four years of your life and you feel the pressure. I want you to know that you don't have to say yes to every college experience. You do not have to drink alcohol or attend parties for these next four years to be incredible. You do not have to drink alcohol or attend parties for these next four years to be incredible. You do not have to put yourself in situations in which you feel uncomfortable. It is okay to say no as often as you want. You do not have to join a fraternity or sorority to make lasting friendships. You do not have to give your body away to others for temporary satisfaction. Dear senior, you are worth it. You are worth making these years count for more than just a short party. You are worth the invaluable memories that come when Jesus stays centered. Most importantly, you are worth a guilt-free college career.
Be radiant, dear senior. Be radiant, and shine your light for all to see.
Radiance is what comes from within, and shines on the outside. Turn with me to Ephesians 5:1-17. If you are stumped on where to find this, it is the 10th book of the New Testament, or you can Google it. (Being a young adult, myself, I know the chances of you turning there, rather than just reading my points, are slim. Busted. I caught you. Regardless, I challenge you to break the mold and turn with me.) For those of you that are not turning with me, let me give you some background. Ephesians is a book written by Paul, one of the most fascinating men in the Bible, in my opinion. In chapter 5, Paul is challenging the church to live like Christ. He tells us to "live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." Paul goes on in this chapter to outline some no's. No sexual immorality. No greed. No impurity. No foolish talk. Then he switches gears. Paul gives us some yes's. Yes, live as a light of the world. Yes, expose the things of darkness. Most importantly, he empowers us. He encourages us. Paul writes in verse 15-17, "Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."
Dear senior, there will come a time that you walk into a room, and you will feel a sense that you do not belong there. Maybe there is abundant sexual immorality surrounding you. Maybe there is alcohol and drunkenness. Perhaps it will be a different temptation. Dear senior, if you stay in that room, you will get comfortable staying in that room.
Christ-likeness is not produced by imitation, but inhabitation. Whatever fills you, controls you. We overflow with what we love, so effervescently proclaim Jesus. Share the gospel always; when necessary, use words. God's glory is shown, not just through forgiven people, but by transformed and compelling people.
Dear senior, finish strong.
Christine is a student at Baylor University.