We took a last-minute trip to Manton on Sunday night, to spend Labor Day with my family. It was a tiring trip with all the driving, but it was really good to see them. We had a great time! Thanks for the birthday gifts/cards and cake! Yum!
We went to the annual Harvest Festival parade in Manton. Alonna carried the banner for the AWANA float. It was fun to be there and see people I haven’t seen in ages. (Although, it’s a little weird to recognize someone and not be able to remember their name or why you should know them!) Anyway, I saw two of my friends from the past that I really haven’t seen in a while. One of them, Chris, still lives in the Cadillac area and has three kids. We used to ride the school bus together. He lived around the corner from my parents’ house. I think I lost track of him sometime around eighth or ninth grade.
Then Will. We went to school together for most of the thirteen years I was at Manton. He asked me to “go out with him” pretty much every three years (sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades). In spite of my “no” answers, we were still pretty good friends. Now he works down here in the GR area at a camp for disabled people. I think that’s a pretty cool job.
Anyway, today I was online, and I randomly found a whole bunch of people I went to high school with on myspace. (Myspace has the ugliest, weirdest bunch of web pages ever. They make my eyes twitch.) It made me sad. All of them talked about getting drunk and partying (except maybe one? not sure). None of them seemed to have the hope that comes from knowing Jesus.
And so I thought, what have I done, in the past, to either encourage them toward Jesus, or to push them away? I know in high school people viewed me as the holier-than-thou kind of person, because I wouldn’t drink and party, and I insisted on staying a virgin until marriage. (Which was the best choice ever!) I made mistakes, that’s for sure, but I still aimed to stay pure and keep my focus on walking a Christ-like walk. I don’t know if anyone ever appreciated that back then, or if they just resented me for it. I feel like I wasn’t able to really make relationships that changed people’s lives back then, though. Maybe I was too judgmental and not loving enough?
And, after so many years, what can I do now? I know prayer is powerful, and I can certainly pray for them. But is there more? It just makes me so sad to think that most of the people I grew up with will end up living aimless, purposeless lives. They don’t know the real purpose for living! I wish I could share it with them and make them understand. Living for the glory of God is infinitely better than living for our own glory. Maybe I’m finally really starting to understand the need for spreading the Gospel. I want to share this gift God’s given me!