To Sylvan High, those Bears will break right through that line …
For five years Sylvan High School was the most important place for me. I think back fondly of the pep rally’s (I can still see the cheerleaders and the band leading us in “Be True to Your School” by the Beach Boys), the football and basketball games, dances, clubs and, yes, even some classes. Below is a picture of me at the Senior Prom. My date was Buddy Long. I remember him as being a lot of fun and a great dancer.
Recently I discovered a Facebook group for my old high school. It was amazing to go there and see names and faces from long forgotten days of yester year. I was able to see faces of people now in their 60s who, until that point, still were 18 in my mind.
I asked the group what they would say to their teenage self now they have gained wisdom of life. Here is what some of them posted:
• Don’t do drugs
• Study, study, study
• Don’t worry about being an “egghead” and reading all the time, in real life being smart is a good thing.
• Go for the geeks
• Don’t worry about being popular
• Don’t date and marry men you meet at Zayre (a discount store like K-Mart) even if he is wearing a nice suit.
As I reflect back on those days here are a few things I would tell myself.
1. I wish I had been more focused on developing me as a person and not worried about BOYS. I wouldn’t have been worried about having a date but maybe read some good books on the weekend. Yea, like that was going to happen.
2. I wish I had appreciated my family more and not let friends be the most important part of my life. Yeah, it’s easy to say that now that I’ve had teenagers and gone through that process from the parent’s side of things.
3. I would have appreciated my girlfriends more and enjoyed the times of pajama parties, etc.
4. I would have appreciated those teachers who led after-school clubs. It was during that time I was able to learn to lead meetings, plan events, etc. Being able to be a class officer help begin to develop skills I use even now in planning events and leading women in Bible studies.
5. I wouldn’t have been just a Sunday Christian. It really wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I discovered that the Christian life wasn’t just about getting into heaven but walking with God every day. I think if I had discovered this earlier in my life I might have been able to see my significance not in what I did or how popular I was but who I was as a child of God.
6. I would be the kid like the ones from Capitol View Baptist Church who came to visit me on a Sunday afternoon and invite me to their church. I had really never gone to church so this began a new chapter in my life.
7. I would be the kid who invited someone like me to hear a Christian speaker. And maybe that person would have discovered that we all have a hole in our hearts that can only be filled with God himself.
8. I would like to conclude with one last thing. Enjoy all those cokes and Cheetos while you can because one day they will literally stick to your middle.
The high school years have long gone but I can still apply these simple truths to my life now. I need to value my friends and family. I need to realize my significance is from God and not from my success. I need to remember that God is not just a Sunday thing but is just as important on Monday morning. I need to remember that although I’m not a teenager that the people around me still have hurts and I can be there to help point them to a God who wants to reach down and mend their souls.
And I try to remember that in the long run salads are better for me than all those Cheetos. I guess the saying is true, “You really can teach an old dog new tricks.” Or at least you can try.