Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Enjoying Life... Now

{by Rachel Coker}
I think that the adolescent years have been unfairly stereotyped. If you are or ever have been a teenager or college-aged student, I think you know what I’m talking about. For some reason, our culture has placed an undue emphasis on the agony of this period in your life. You’re hormonal and scatterbrained and filled with angst and stifled rebellion, right? You’re not old enough for anyone to take you seriously and yet not really young enough for anyone to just let you be. You’re stuck—waiting for the day when something happens that will officially make you an adult, and allow you to breath normally again. Might as well cue the violin symphony and curl up with a box of bon-bons for the next half a decade.

This type of thinking is totally unfair. And very much untrue. Too many people think that it’s difficult for God to use the teenager or college student to accomplish His will. We are stereotyped as the rebellious crowd who needs to “get it all out of our systems” before we settle down and get serious about following God. Or, worse yet, we think it ourselves.

As young women, it is way too easy for us to make excuses and bemoan our current situations, allowing ourselves to think that we are useless as-is. We sit around and long for the day that we can be done with our education, and able to have the free time to do things for the Lord. Or we allow feelings of bitterness to creep into our hearts as we view our friends and acquaintances to settle into happy relationships and marriages. When will the magical day come that we too will graduate or get married and finally reach our life purpose?

Well, truth be told, I don’t really know if that day will ever come for a lot of young Christian ladies. Why? Because our life purpose can’t be found in finishing our education, or settling down in marriage. It’s not wrapped up in wearing the latest fashions or doing the most mission work as an adult. As Christians, our purpose is found in glorifying our Heavenly Father with our lives right now.

A Christian is not like, if you would, a banana. (I can’t believe I’m making fruit analogies! What is happening to me???) There is no state of bitter greenness, when God still thinks we are too new to use. And we don’t get brown and mushy with age, to the point where God finally tosses us in the compost bin. Instead, the devoted Christian is always useful to the Lord. No matter what your age, or your circumstances, if you pray for His will, the Lord will be faithful and merciful to use you to accomplish it.

The teenage and young adult years are not a holding cell, keeping you out of the way of the better Christians until you are useful enough to do something for the church in your thirties and forties. They are a launching pad, catapulting you into the fields of mission, service, and obedience to the Lord! You are young and most likely still exuberant in your new faith. There is nothing the Lord would like more than to take your willingness and energy and use it to accomplish His will.

It takes a long time to learn to be content with where God has you right now, especially if you’ve spent too much time looking into the binoculars at the future you’ve made up for yourself. But remember that God has you here for a purpose. Sometimes it’s hard to see it, especially given the hormonal, bad-hair day filled days of your young adult years, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

So learn to enjoy your life now. Soak up the knowledge and experience you are gaining. Don’t resign yourself by thinking, “Oh, no one will take me seriously if I try to do that now. I’ll just wait ten years or so and then I won’t look like a fool if it doesn’t turn out.” James 4:14 says, “You do not know what tomorrow will bring.” We’re not always promised a long and lasting future on this earth. So serve the Lord today!

Go on the mission trip. Sign up to be a leader at your church food drive. Send that book to a publisher—who knows? Maybe someone will publish it anyway! ;) Don’t underestimate the power of God in your life. If you earnestly seek His will, He will make it known to you. And a life following the will of God is the most rewarding life of all, no matter what stage of it you’re in.

Rachel is a homeschool student who resides in Virginia with her parents and two sisters. She has a passion for great books, and has been surrounded by them all her life. As a young child, Rachel helped her parents in a family-run Christian book business and hasn’t stopped reading since. Her gift for writing became apparent at the age of eleven, at which time her parents signed her up for a year of lessons with a professional writing coach. She was signed with Zondervan in 2010 for her first YA fiction novel, Interrupted, coming out in February 2012. When she is not writing, playing the piano, or hiding behind a camera, Rachel enjoys spending time with her family and friends and serving her Lord and Savior. You can visit her at her blog.

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin to Pooh 

1 comment:

  1. So powerful and so true! Thank you so much for sharing Rachel! I'm very encouraged!!!