Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Soap Box Booster Seats

A few weeks ago, I discussed a teenager's common search for identity...complete with a picture from my high school graduation! (Check it out here.) 

That post sparked a walk down memory lane.  I hope I never forget what it felt like to be a teenager.  There is something so valuable about that time in our lives, even if we are a bit embarrassed (okay, a lot embarrassed) by some of the things we did.

For instance, remember when you were so passionate about EVERYTHING?  And not only were you passionate about saving the whales or proper treatment of teenage workers, you wanted the ideal.  You worked toward how things should be and you did not stand for how things were.

We were zealots in a way.  Penniless, not contributing much to society, low on the totem pole of life, but pushing for things bigger than we were.

I remember naively fighting for so many things that I felt were as important as life or death.  We needed to be authentic Christians.  We needed to authentically worship.  Why were all of these adults not singing in church?  What were they scared of?  We need to worship without shame, without being afraid of who is going to hear us.

I remember how many adults that got so frustrated with me.

Adulthood, as it usually does, has given me both compassion, understanding and a less idealistic view of the world.  I grant more grace to people, understanding that there is poop in this world.  We all mess up.  And there are some horrible people only looking out for themselves.

But there is something of my former self that I miss.  I miss the drive to stand up for what was right, regardless of who was against me.  I miss the energy to invest my heart into all of these issues that were important to me. 

I wish there was some way we could blend the two: the compassion and understanding of adulthood with the vibrant idealism of our youth.  Perhaps impossible, perhaps only in individual cases, perhaps possible in all of us.  Either way, there is no harm in trying.

Soli Deo Gloria.