I’d like to give some advice to our students, graduates and to all of us. So brace yourself for this earth shattering statement. Be You! You can do something that no one else can do – you can be you.
A young man on the brink of graduation said to himself, “Jessica can sing; Phil is a super athlete; Brandi makes straight A’s; Jacob is class president. Me? I can’t do anything!” Do any of us have some similar feelings? We may think we’re not interesting. But you can be if you work to discover who God has made you to be. Even the psalmist said, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” [Psalm 139:14a]. Every person is a unique creation of God. So how can you become the wonderful you that the Lord created?
Accept you – So you’re not a singer, an athlete, a super student, or a class president – accept that! Know there are as many niches in life as there are people to fill them. Each niche must be created and filled by an individual. The building of your own niche begins with the discovery of your talents and interests. Do you secretly like to write stories? Do you love to argue? Maybe there is a place for you on the newspaper staff or the debate team.
Find you – Explore! Does everyone consider you a pal? Do they all tell you their troubles? Maybe you’re headed for a career in counseling. Visit with your school advisor/counselor to talk about your interest in this area. If you are an “A” student, feel good about that but not arrogant. You might consider sharing your skills with an academic struggler. As you discover your talents, then try them out on others. The key is to dare to be an individual. Conformity is not only monotonous but also stifling. Find You! This means you must give up the “I wish I were’s”. For example Phil [above] has to admit that at 5 foot 1 inch he has little chance of playing varsity basketball. But his quickness and his stamina could be invaluable on the soccer field.
Expand you – You have to stop dreaming of vague possibilities and start making things happen. You need to build, grow, improve, excel! If your interest is in foreign languages and your school doesn’t have a language club – don’t wait for someone else to start it. You can organize a club. You may not want to play sports, be in any clubs or be a super student – you just want to have fun with your friends. If you are happy with your friends and they like you, you must be doing something right. Maybe your talent lies in dealing with people. This skill also improves with use, so cheer a friend; smile; ask if you can help. Show a sincere interest in all. Sharpen your people skills. We need to find our niche and seek to grow better at it. What now?
Enrich you – Now you need to expand your acceptance. Even if you dislike football, you can still cheer for the team. With your tone-deaf ear and your two left feet, you can still learn to appreciate musicians and not to envy dancers. Support them. Your wholehearted support for all activities does two things. First, it makes you a well-rounded participant in life. Second, your support may cause a reflex action for you and your interests. If you take time to attend and cheer for Bill in his gymnastics meet, he may just be there for your next debate.
Like you – What happens when you accept, find, build, and enrich you? The inevitable result is that you like you. And if you like you, you go on building and expanding. Speaking of like, God sure likes you. He likes, I mean He loves you so much that He made you a one-of-a-kind, infinitely valuable person. He loves you enough to die on a cross for your failings to be “the you” He created you to be. He loves you enough, that when you commit your life to him, He actually comes into your life to enable you to become you. So what are you waiting for? You and God make a good team to do what no one else can do – to be you!!!!!!
Cheering for the real You,