So, I have been posting a lot on a site for the alumni of my high school (my 20 year reunion is coming up this summer --- YIKES I am old!) It has been interesting to reconnect with some people and see where we have all been and where we are going. There are a lot of topics, mostly pretty trivial, like "complete the 80's song lyric" or "what ever happened to this person". We even have one thread devoted to going off on one another in a comical way. Today when I logged on I found this new thread had been started: Name one thing, you would have done differently in high school? As I read over my classmate's comments, it got me thinking what my answer would be. So I started writing.
Here was my reply:
I would have applied myself more. I was way smarter than my GPA says. I was shocked,when I applied for my Teaching Certificate, to see that I had more Cs than I remembered in High School English. Obviously I could have done better since I became an English teacher! I just never did homework. Seriously for four years I just listened in class and did really well on tests. I had a decent GPA but I am sure I could have done really well (like I did in college) if I had just tried harder.
Also, I wish I would have been stronger in my faith as a Christian. I really blew it in that area. My relationship with Christ completely defines who I am. That relationship is the purpose of my life. In Christ I have found so much peace and hope. I understand the purpose of my life. I never really shared that with anyone in High School because I wanted to fit in. I was a young Christian in those days and wanted to be accepted so I didn't live the life very well at all. I really regret that I didn't take the opportunity to make a spiritual impact on my friends.
Maybe that is why I am so passionate about student ministry today. I never lived my faith out in front of you guys and I regret that. I spend my life as a Youth Pastor now trying to help teens embrace their faith and share it with their world. Nothing makes me more proud than to hear one of the kids in my student ministry tell about sharing the hope of Christ with a friend. I love to invest in the lives of young people and I think I am a Youth Pastor today, partly because God knows the regrets I have about not affecting high school students for Him when I was a kid, so He has given me the INCREDIBLE opportunity to affect so many more high schoolers for Him as I give my years of life in service to the cause of Christ.
So, regrets, sure I have them. Still, I rest assured in two verses from God's Word that help me look beyond the past and forward into what is to come:
"For all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose". Romans 8:28
"'For I know the plans I have for you,'" declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11