Reunions Reminders and Reflections

My 20th high school reunion was this past weekend (and even thinking about it now just seems weird it has been that long).  It was a good time spent over a couple of days both at (what turned out to be homecoming) football game Friday night and then gathering and dinner on Saturday night.  I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen since the 10 year reunion and then some I hadn’t seen in probably 20 years.

I have to admit I was kinda surprised that so many were so excited to see me.  Not that I don’t appreciate it, I do.  I just feel like growing up it took a long time for me to fit in.  Probably not until really my senior year did I feel like I belonged.  I think that’s the case of growing up in one town and going to school in another town.  Looking back, going to school where I did made me into who I am today.  If I hadn’t went to school there, I would be very different I would imagine.  So I appreciate where I went and the friends I had there.

I had one friend come up and say to me “You haven’t changed a bit!”  I laughed and was like “Was that a good thing or a bad thing?”  On the one hand yeah I kinda still look the same as I did but I sure don’t feel like I’m the same (which I would say is a good thing).  I would hope that I have at least grown in wisdom and maturity (even though I still have the tendency to do and say stupid things because sinful nature).  But I hope that I haven’t lost that innocence I had as a kid.

I was glad to catch up with some friends I hadn’t seen in a really long time and was sad that there were some that weren’t able to be there.  I was happy to hear some good stories about some fun and exciting adventures my friends have had.  And I was sad to hear stories of friends being at odds with one another.

This weekend reminded me of a film I recently watched called Juilet, Naked.  The main characters in the film throughout the film dealt with the regrets of decisions in the past as well as the struggles of life in the present.  I think we all have those regrets and struggles that we wrestle with at every stage of life.  But I trust that God works through all of them at all points.  I am who I am today because of what has come before.  But my worth is not defined by that.  I find my worth in Jesus.  I have my experiences to share my story and through that hopefully point people to Jesus.

I have been blessed to have lived where I’ve lived, to serve where I have served, to learn what I have learned and hopefully that can in turn be a blessing to others.  This past weekend was another good reminder of that.

Fitting In

I was driving around the other day and flipping through the radio stations.  I came across a song and listened to it.  It was catchy and got stuck in my head.  It was from the band Echosmith and the song is called “Cool Kids”.  The chorus goes like this:

“I wish that I could be like the cool kids cuz all the cool kids, they seem to fit in
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids
I wish that I could be like the cool kids cuz all the cool kids, they seem to get it
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids”

Growing up, I wasn’t necessarily a “cool kid”.  I was smart.  I wasn’t that big.  I wore glasses.  When I was a teenager, I wore braces.  On top of all that, I grew up about 30 minutes from where I went to school in another town.  So add all that together and I didn’t run in the “popular” crowd.  But growing up, I wanted to be a part of the popular crowd.  I wanted to fit in with them.  Now eventually as I grew up and matured, I eventually became friends with the popular kids and when I was a senior I was “cool” in my own right but that feeling of being on the outside still lingered.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen how there are still times when I feel out of place, when I don’t feel like I fit in.  I think that’s a part of life.  It’s something we all go through.  We all see people we know who seem to be the “cool kids”.  The ones that seem to have everything going their way.  They seem to know what is going all and get it.  But the thing is, they have struggles too.  We may not be able to see it but they struggle with feeling like they’ve got it or that they fit in with whatever crowd they spend time with.

It should be in those time where we feel alone, where we feel like we don’t fit in, that we should seek out friends to encourage and to share with our struggles.  We’re all in this together.  Especially as Christians, we’re called to be in community, to be a part of a church family.  If there’s anyplace we should be able to fit in, it’s the church.  Because we’re all on the same level when it comes to following Jesus.