This I Believe

Rachel - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 4, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: Christianity
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More to Life

Though still young, inexperienced and small in a vast world, today’s youth are called by God to change the world and not wait for others to do it. In all of history, this generation has the most access to resources when compared to any other generation, yet so many teens are bored and discontent with their lives. They search for a deeper meaning to life but cannot find it. They spend their time doing unimportant things while they could be helping others. I believe that the youth have a stronger voice than they realize. I believe that age doesn’t matter when it comes to standing up for the rights of mankind. I believe that as a Christian and human being, it is my responsibility to help the less fortunate, and to stand up for those who are powerless.

During a three-day retreat that truly changed my perspective of life and of God, I was hit by a realization that God put me on this Earth to be His hands and feet. I’ve learned that just living life and going through the everyday motions isn’t enough, nor is it what we were made to do. We were made to minister to the poor, the needy, the sick and the oppressed. The opening exercise for a workshop on social injustice was a survey. I was ashamed and embarrassed to circle “little” for the amount of community service I have done; I couldn’t name any organizations I was a part of that were dedicated to feeding the hungry or fighting against social injustices. I realized that I am a very selfish person.

God calls all Christians to be the light of this world, yet many times I stray from this calling because it’s just easier to “go with the flow.” However, I have learned that there are people who don’t even have a choice to speak out. They live an oppressed life where injustices are done to them, yet they are helpless to stop them, too weak to run from them, and powerless to fight against them. Most of the youth who live a comfortable life, don’t feel like stepping out of their comfort zone and turn a blind eye to the sufferings of so many people. There can be so many excuses not to help, such as not having enough time, not have enough money or being too young, but there is one reason to help that is greater than all the excuses: God created us to touch other lives and bring them the knowledge of saving grace.

To find purpose in life requires sacrifice. We need to give up something, whether it is time, energy, or money, in order to experience meaning in this world. I believe that this generation should use the power and influence they have to bless others and to make an impact on someone’s life. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

I know there is more to life than what I am living now. I must strive to be more Christ-like, in compassion, humility, generosity and love.