Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I Hope You're Over High School. And College. And Your 20's. And--
"... Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life." ... Romans 6:4
So. Last Friday while searching for a certain street with a yard sale, I got a tad lost, but that lostness turned pleasant when the song, At Seventeen wafted over the radio.
I love that song. Ok, mostly just the melody. And Janis Ian's voice. And the placement of the words, "dubious integrity" together.
The rest of it is rather a bitter mess.
A bunch of so-called wisdom where the singer says she had everything figured out at 17 (as if that's even possible), like how the pretty teens were, well, plastic, with shallow souls and/or married young, settling, missing out on the good things in later life.
It also rambles on about how the non-pretty kids all stayed home and were lonely and made-up good times inside their heads because that's the best they could do or could expect.
Then rampant generalizations really start whirling everywhere. All the non-pretty kids had bad times in high school and all the pretty kids only thought they were having good times, but it was like the game, charades. Everybody pretending.
But yeah,oddly, I still love that song, both for the reasons I told you and also for these lines:
To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
the world was younger than today...
Except I wish she would have stopped the lines right there (she didn't), for it all was long ago and far away! Years and years and another life ago. And we all were younger than today.
We were all:
... clueless, just babies, really, and often thoughtless of others' feelings, being far more concerned with our own.
... so afraid of making mistakes, looking foolish, dreading that others would forever remember us for those mistakes.
... trying to discover who our present and future selves were supposed to be.
... and on and on.
Sometimes I meet people who--in their heads--got stuck in high school. They still believe they're the same shy, insecure, pimply nobody that someone called them in a note or between classes. The words still haunt and sadden them, still direct their decisions and the way they feel about themselves.
And if that is you? Today I would remind you that high school is over and it may have been real, but it wasn't realistic, for teenagers are all trying to find their way and will too often step on top of others to do it without knowing, usually, they've done so. Without realizing the deep hurt which words can inflict.
And the best news? God can totally heal us from the Past. And no, not just give us some ability to live with emotional pain, but rather, heal us. Change us. Free us to fly in a whole new life...
... if we'll trade him the pain for His healing. If we let go and be willing to stop polishing till they shine, all the bitterness or the helplessness or hopelessness we were told--long ago and far away--was who we were.
Thank God, He makes all things new.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!" ... 2 Corinthians 5:17
"Whom the Son sets free is free, indeed." ... John 8:36
Who we were 20 years ago is not who we are today, but only a shadow, another us who had yet to grow into who we've become.
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Accounting for Love