When I was little, I always wanted to drive. I always wanted to be in the special seat; tall enough to nudge the gas pedal down to drive me far, far away. When I was little I always wanted to be older, always wanted to be wiser, always wanted to be in control.
That yearning for the driver’s seat has served as a metaphor of my life. I have always wanted to take control of what I’ve been given and make a path for my life where I can make an impact, but I misunderstood the way in which a person goes about that. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized I was wrong in a way. I wasn’t wrong in that it’s good to have an idea of where you are going, but I was wrong when I thought that growing older meant you had it all figured out or that you were automatically wiser.
Going into my senior year of high school and being handed the responsibility to take control of my future is like having another world at my fingertips. Feelings of inadequacy and the pressures that come with everything from college applications to AP classes have crept into the back corners of my mind, and I’ve slowly realized how much will rest on the decisions I make throughout the course of this year.
In these things, there are many parallels to the Christian walk, and I’m starting to comprehend them. Just as we have to make the most of our present, secular life with our eyes pointed toward eternity in heaven with our savior, I’m having to balance the pressures of my future with making the most of my time left in high school.
Through this, I’ve come to understand that wisdom not only comes from experiences and events that shape a person’s perspective, but from attempting to comprehend how we are called to live every day. The only person to ever walk through life and live a perfectly Christian life was Jesus, and he was perfectly human and perfectly divine at the same time. He was God in human form; he is perfect, and we are not. Falling short of your goals is disappointing. Not reaching our full potential is discouraging. And more times than not, we experience both of those feelings.
Growing up in a world where adequacy and capability are measured by rigid scales, my perception of God’s expectations for his children has been incorrect. What I didn’t understand was how God worked. His scale is not our scale. We are taught in school that to pass a course or ace a project, we must fully and logically understand the topic we are presented with. In regards to God, that is skewed. God is so powerful, so graceful, so merciful and so perfect that his scale is incomprehensible to us. His scale is not a simple yes or no. His scale is not a certain grade point average, checklist or pass-or-fail project.
God loves his children with an unsurpassable amount of passion and intention. We are made in his perfect image, and to assume that we are anything less than his most prized possessions is to assume that he makes mistakes. God doesn’t make mistakes. We are perfect in Christ, but we are still broken. I am broken. You are broken. In the simplest terms, that’s why Christ died for us; to lead us to the rock that is higher than we stand when our hearts become overwhelmed.
More than anything else, as Christians we are called to live the life for which we were created and to stay authentic to who God has called us to be. We are called to bloom where we are planted, not to uproot ourselves and attempt to grow in a place unfit for who we are. We are worthy of the love of God not because we have measured up to a scale, but because God says we are his children, with whom he is well pleased. Because of this, we can spread his love and light to others by keeping an authentic faith in people and by humbling ourselves before the feet of Christ every single day and by saying, “I will try my best to do whatever you ask of me.”
While I’ve realized many things through the process of growing into myself, the one thing I know to be true is that I have a long way to go. The journey will be long and arduous, but it will also be humbling, joyful and fulfilling. I’ve also realized that above anything else, God is with us, and we should not be afraid.
Peyton Wilson is a senior at Har-Ber High School in Springdale. She attends St. Raphael Church in Springdale.
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