If you read my VLOG last week then you know it was about my high school track experience. It was a message about striving to keep the faith and to run our race with perseverance.
What I didn’t mention was that in the spring of my senior year I decided not to run track. It wasn’t so I could play baseball or tennis. No, I joined the drama club, which proved a most unpopular decision. I was worried sick about what people would think and say. Some of those I worried about:
- the Track Coach
- the Track Team
- my friends
- my girl friend
- my parents
In a small town High School the boys that played sports played all of them. We were a fraternity. The best players in football were the best players in basketball and track. I was one of the best and they were depending on me.
My fears were well founded. I was ridiculed and teased. Some treated me differently, including the coach. But not my parents who supported my decision and not the Drama Club who were happy to have me. We rehearsed after school at the same time the track team worked out. I had played football and basketball and track since Junior High, and enjoyed it, learned from it, and won my share of medals and trophies. But as it turned out, I also loved being in drama and acting, it was so much fun.
A Hard Choice
My decision went across the grain. I chose drama over sports. I chose performing on a stage instead of competing on a track. It wasn’t easy to go against the grain, they called me “loser” and other words I won’t put in print. It wasn’t pleasant and I knew what it was like to be on the outside.
Our culture demands that everyone fits in, to do what’s expected even if it’s not in our best interest. Kids are under enormous pressure to blend in, to keep their heads down and not be different. Difference is a killer. Difference gets noticed and attacked.
For believers with kids, you face challenges that are bigger than ever. The dynamics are the same: the need to fit in, be accepted, and peer pressure will always exist. But the consequences are worse. The bullying and ostracizing are more intense.
I am struggling to accept it, but the nation I love is slowly becoming a place where living as the light of world is ridiculed, anathema and increasingly belittled.
Making the choice to be different is still the calling of God for his people. It has never been easy and now it seems harder than ever. Please accept my encouragement to keep trusting in God and to keep struggling to be the light of the world.
It’s never been easier to blend in.
God bless you, stay strong and keep the faith.