There’s a middle schooler in all of us. A bit lost; a bit distractable; wanting to scream at the top of our lungs for no reason in particular; and always wishing to do something great one day. It shows up when we watch a movie in which the underdog becomes the hero. We are reminded of it when we read a news story of someone standing up for their convictions, no matter what the consequences. Yet it’s most prominent when it comes to spending a daily moment in God’s Word.
As most of you know, I am the leader of an outstanding group of young people that bears the name of Club Impact. We do many good things together, but the heart of my vision for these inspired youngsters is that they would immerse themselves in the Word of God. Unless they do, all of their efforts to make a difference will be in vain. And so it is with our lives. Unless we are connected to the One who made us for a purpose, our lives have no meaning.
But as is common among middle schoolers, we think we can stay close to jesus without daily time spent reading the bible. Perhaps if we talk about Him, or think about Him, or go to church once a week, it will be sufficient. We certainly hope so, because whenever we start reading the Bible we get tired or lose focus or get distracted. What we read is often dull or confusing, too. Besides, our week is so busy with work, friends, home responsibilities and hobbies it’s hard to find time to open that book.
Would those excuses work for any other aspect of life that is important to you? Exercise, for instance? Or eating? Or sleeping? What about relationships with friends or family? Education? “I think about_(fill in the blank)__. I talk about____________. I ______ once a week. That should suffice.” Common sense declares that such a line of reasoning cannot work. Therefore, if you want to know your purpose for existence; if you want to know when to stand up and when to step aside; if you want to live a satisfied, meaningful life, you must set aside a portion of each day to meet with Jesus.
Here are some suggestions for making it the part of your day that you anticipate, not dread:
-Name it (create a term for your Bible reading that has significance for you and reminds you of how important it is to you. Example: “My reflection time” or “My sanity boost.”)
-Move around (meet with God in different places – the beach, the park, the forest, the mountain, your deck, at the coffee shop, for example.)
-Set dates with God (He is real, which is why you want time with Him. Designate one day each week where you just go away for twice the amount of time you spend with Him the rest of the week.)
-Be specific (come to Him with questions or life issues that you really want answers to and expect Him to answer. Apply His answers to your life; take Him at His word.)
-Record it (write down what He shows you so that you can remember His reality when you start to doubt it).
-Put it into action (Do a God-project each week. It could be writing a card to someone who is on your heart or it could be drastic, like going to a pro-life rally or an all-night prayer service).
These are just a few suggestions; I’m sure you can think of much more. The main thing to remember is that middle schoolers need to see relevancy in their lives, which means that if you want God to be real to you, you must make Him a priority first – and live out what you believe. Now go and positively IMPACT the world.