Summer has this particular quality of seeming infinite in the beginning weeks & then somehow evaporating into nothing as the fall swiftly takes over. We find ourselves today in the evaporation stage. Before you know it, you'll be back in class & back to a school year routine. For those about to start your senior year of high school, you are indeed returning to a familiar routine, but this time around might feel a little different. After all, it is your last year of high school.
Your senior year is truly one of the most important times of your life. You'll make some of the best memories, as well as some of the biggest decisions you've ever made before. In preparing for your last year of high school, know that the coming season is full of newness, but that the same God is by your side in all of it (Hebrews 13:8). As you look ahead & consider your faith, this blog is for you. Here are some eternal truths to remember & encouragements to cling to.
Leading & Following
As a senior in high school, you will have influence. You will be a part of the oldest group in the school, & whether you ask for it or not, people younger than you will look up to you. At times, even your peers might look to you in the way that you make decisions or the manner in which you treat others. I'm sure that later on in life you may find yourself with just as much or more influence, but you will never again have the same impact on the same people that you have the potential to make this year. Make it matter & determine to lead well this year.
However, as counter-intuitive as it seems, to be able to properly lead, you must first learn to follow. Pray that God reveals people around you worth imitating & take notes on the way in which they live their life. Ask questions of those who are older & wiser than you, & truly listen & learn from what they tell you. I'll be frank; it takes a lot of humility to ask those questions & perhaps even more to apply what you learn. Pray that the same humility that brought Jesus in obedience to the cross would fill you & enable you to follow the godly examples in your life (Philippians 2:5-8).
While learning from those around you is a wonderful gift, the only Person truly worthy of following in every manner is Jesus Christ. As disciples of Christ, we are called to deny ourselves, take up our cross & follow Him (Matthew 16:24-25). When you think about the approaching school year, consider ways in which you can deny yourself. You will be an example to those around you of obedience, humility, love, & kindness. That is leadership at its finest.
I'll be the first to admit that when a new season of life approaches, I'm perfectly content to delay good practices until then. To my complacent self, it makes sense to wait until after a transition to settle into a disciplined routine. The reality, however, is that if you continue to wait, you'll never start doing what you need to do.
College is right around the corner, but that doesn't mean that your last year of high school doesn't count for anything. In fact, let this year grow you immeasurably as you prepare for the next season of life. Practice spiritual disciplines so that when everything around you changes, the foundation of your life is not altered in the least. Spend time daily in prayer, get rooted in the Word of God, & learn to worship Him in the mundane tasks about your normal days.
Don't fall prey to the lie that you can't develop those habits right now—that you have to wait for a specific time that is to come (after football season, Christmas break, summertime, etc). The time is now, & the joy of the Lord found in pursuing Him is for you right now. Remember also: "do not grow weary in doing good" (2 Thessalonians 3:13). For those who have been diligent seekers of the Lord & His will, may you continue to "run with endurance the race that is set before [you], looking to Jesus" (Hebrews 12:1-2).
It's All Under Control
I remember one of the scariest parts about entering senior year was how little I knew about my next chapter of life. Being one year away from an unknown future meant I had a lot to worry about. Right? Well worry I did, but that was definitely the wrong thing to do. You don't have to worry though.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus entreats us not to be anxious about anything in life. He tells us of our value to God & how God knows exactly what we need (Matthew 6:25-34). With that in mind, why should we bother wasting time & energy with anxiety about life & what's next? Seeking the Kingdom is all that matters, & God will reveal the next step in life when He sees fit. This mindset causes seasons in which we are tempted to worry to be seasons of learning how to depend completely on the Father & His provision. Let your senior year be one such season.
In the first chapter of Philippians, Paul writes this: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." In light of this Scripture, your senior year is ultimately a time for you to be worked on by a faithful God. You are His workmanship, created to walk in truth & glorify your Creator (Ephesians 2:10). Remember that as you step into your high school in a few short weeks. Remember that during winter final exams, remember that at spring break, & remember that truth for the rest of your life.
May that truth guide your senior year & the many years to come!