I’ve been reading a fantastic book lately- one that doesn’t necessarily apply to many of the folks that read this blog- but a good one, nonetheless. As a recent college graduate and a twentysomething, reading Dr. Meg Jay’s The Defining Decade, which pertains to navigating life as a young adult, has been therapeutic, to say the least. Regardless of the inapplicability of the book’s premise, this paragraph stood out to me as one that speaks to the value of the Village youth program and also fits with our Cheer theme of “Formation”:
“Distinctiveness is a fundamental part of our identity… I am who I am because of how I am different from those around me. There is a point to my life because it cannot be carried out in exactly the same way by any other person. Differentness is part of what makes us who we are. It gives our lives meaning.”
There were a lot of moments in middle school and high school when I REALLY didn’t want to be different. Since then, I’ve figured out that my differences are what make me who I am, and most of the time, I embrace my distinctiveness. For me, embracing my own differentness has meant owning up to (and advertising) the fact that I am absolutely obsessed with queso, rocking a pink mustache in public (see picture), and coming to terms with the reality that I am just not athletic. As we’ve been talking about “Formation” and the things that mold and shape us into who we are, I think our differences should absolutely be considered. What unique qualities has God given you that make you who you are, and how can you use your differences to make the world a better place?
I’ve loved working with the youth department at Village, because I think that we strive to make Village a place where differences are valued, and distinctiveness is appreciated. God created you to be different- don’t forget it!