I remember an important fact about myself.
I am 17.
That number doesn’t seem like much when you first think of it, but in several different instances, it has struck me with mixed feelings of trepidation and exhilaration.
I am one year shy of 18.
While I am well aware of the fact that it is society that has developed the “18 years old means you’re an adult” concept, nevertheless 18 years of age is an age of change. It is commonly associated with voting rights, more driving rights, moving away from home, and attending college. It is at this age that teens are supposed to wake up, get their lives together, and become responsible adults.
I am riding in the car as I think of this, and as I gaze out the window at the expanse of the night sky, I can’t help but feel nostalgic… How in the world have the years slipped by so quickly? I still feel as if I was 13 or 14 years of age, but much more is expected from me. I struggle with the fact that I must aim for higher maturity; more understanding; more knowledge. I cannot rely on people more than I rely on myself now. I have to learn how to take and fulfill certain responsibilities. I need to establish a worldview that dictates my decisions in politics and my moral standards.
In the midst of, and perhaps encompassing all of this, I find myself wondering: where is God, or where will He be in this rapidly approaching new season in my life? Is he involved in my plans for college, for ministry, for service, and day to day life? How will I grow in Him in the coming years? How will I prepare myself to take on new challenges, trials, and experiences? I’m also concerned about the brevity of my life; how it is but a vapor. How much will I accomplish for God in the short amount of time I have in my life? If the years have passed so quickly and will only pass faster still, will I be wasting my life on temporal things or in fulfilling my God-ordained calling?
I am growing up, whether I like it or not. People will naturally expect more from me, and I will have to meet, and maybe exceed, those expectations. I will no longer be a teen in all but name, and I must have the fortitude to live out this standard.
Most importantly, I must keep the Lord in mind, shaping everything I do around Him and integrating Him into my thoughts, words, and actions. Without His grace none of my plans can succeed. Everything I do is in vain. If the purpose of the human life is to grow in one’s relationship with the Lord, and drawing ever closer to Him through obedience to His will and fulfilling the Great Commission, then these elements must be principles in my life. I must learn to be independent yet dependent, in the way that when all else fails and everything around me crumbles or seems hopeless, I can find that God and His Word is really all I need, nothing more. To this end, I must utilize the resource-abundant environment I’m in to prepare myself for the possibility of such an occurrence. It will prove detrimental to my spiritual life if I do not learn this truth well in the near future.
Independent yet dependent… A paradox that must dictate my resolve as I step over the threshold of adulthood.