When I was 17, I was done with secondary. I wasn’t sure of the direction in which my life was headed towards but one thing I was indeed certain of, amongst all things, was that I was done with secondary school. The blurry phase of my life, the phase that had me in so much doubt. I couldn’t wait to get out and unleash the Me I had kept in the box for so long. The Me a lot of people didn’t know, that I didn’t know too and couldn’t wait to show the whole world whom I had locked down for “six whole years”.
I couldn’t wait to paint the town “red”. I didn’t have people who would look up to me anymore. I wasn’t psyched about entering into the university that year but I was Free. Free to wear whatever shade of lipstick I wanted, Free to make my hair with Attachments, Free to carve my brows, paint my nails and explore every dimension of myself. I thought alas, freedom it is and freedom I’ll have!
I guess you might not be surprised, as these are the thoughts running through the minds of most Teenagers ending their program as a High School graduate. I must divulge a little more but before I reveal further, let me share this scripture with you:
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
This scripture is so deep and I later got to understand this a few years later after my ‘mind escapade’ Before I go further, I’ll like to share a little story of my life in secondary school.
The total number of secondary schools I attended was three. One in JSS 1, one in JSS 2 and one in JSS 3 – SS 3. The detour of my whole life as a teenager was shaped partially in every decision I took while still in secondary school.
My whole life in my first two years in junior secondary school was a blur. I started maturing in JSS 3. It was the class I started my monthly cycle. It was a class where I was yet another new student, so I mostly didn’t say anything in class unless I was being asked a question. In SS1, I was so focused on getting good grades, so I worked my heart out and I was having them. I was the first student to be given a Prefect role in SS1 as a time-keeper. The School principal made me a Class captain too and my life couldn’t get better.
I was brought up by my Uncle and Aunt at Age 12 when I moved in to stay with them. Their parental guidance was top-notch. We, my cousins and I, were told what to do, things to avoid and how our only priority was to focus in school. We were given Lesson Teachers when we demanded it. We went to Church regularly every Sunday as my Guardian’s imbibed positive influence in my cousins and I. It was a worthy home to raise good children.
At School, I had Classmates who weren’t brought up in a well courteous home as the one I was in. Their parents were liberal and hence, their behaviour. So sometimes, I was called uptight, too holy and my general nickname- Jesus girl, and to think I wasn’t really close to God then. On weekends, they partied. I couldn’t attend because there was no excuse I could give at home and also because they went to lounge and bars where alcohol was. I couldn’t go there. I didn’t belong there. But as soon as the weekend was over, our Monday morning gist usually rolled with their partied weekends and how much I missed out on their so-called fun weekend.
In SS3, my classmates had grown bigger wings. They had started kissing each other in class in a popular game called Truth or Dare. I played it too but never did anything they asked me to do, so I was tagged “Boring”. They were now going to bigger parties and getting drunk.
My friends go too and one of the mothers who worked in my school and lived on my route to school often used me as an example to her daughter and some of our other classmates. I didn’t like how her mother used me as a poster child for everything good because I also wanted to loosen up and enjoy the parties like the rest of my classmates were and stopped being called BORING.
I didn’t know I was creating High expectations around me. I noticed when my teachers congratulated me when I didn’t dance with the boys as the girls did during our end of the year party. I wished I could tell them that the reason why I didn’t dance was that I couldn’t. With everyone using me as an example, it made me steer clear of any bad decisions. They unconsciously made me honour my decisions not to let down the expectations my guardians had for me; Which was why I couldn’t wait to finish secondary so I could just be me.
I guessed wrong though. I gave my life to Christ that year or maybe fully, the following year. The same people who used to call me boring now wants to be like me and have Jesus like I do.
The next year, I got admitted to the university after staying at home for one year. I had been frustrated staying at home, I had no one else. My classmates were in school. I started to turn to Jesus. I started to have a personal relationship with him and right now, I am glad about where I am. I am in my final year in the university and I still make decisions daily not to party or club or go for a gathering that has no trace of moral fun in it.
If you are born again, you will realize there are certain things you can do or wouldn’t do. Some people rule out parties. Assuming I had entered the University that year I wanted to explore, my life would have been shambles. I had a wrong mindset on what fun was and what freedom was. I was wrong about so many things and I’m so graced that I hadn’t learned any by my mistakes but through the help of the Holy spirit, books and positive people I have around me.
In the earlier Verse, 1 Corinthians 10:31, we are told that we should do all things for the Glory of God. God is holy and while he doesn’t stop you from having fun, there are restrictions. I think this text summarizes this better.
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
There is indeed a time for everything. And yes, God wants you to have fun to the fullest. God wants you to have a good time. A good time doesn’t mean sneaking around to go clubbing with your friends or girl/boyfriend or taking alcohol secretly.
I have fun with my friends. We go to the movies. We go for dinners, lunch, beaches, hang out. I enjoy myself to the fullest because I allow God to shine through whatever kind of fun I choose to have. I set my principles and I spell them out for people to see, which is why anyone coming close to me knows who I am ( Jesus Girl) and honours my decisions even if they don’t share my faith.
Anything you do, let it be for the Glory of God. It is not a crime to Party, but always have this at the back of your mind: How would Jesus Party? You can’t go to a club and not expect bad spirit roaming to lure you to fornicate, because most people you find there are all empty souls filled with so many vacuums. I was lucky to have found Christ early and daily, I make a conscious decision to live for him alone.
The best way to enjoy your life to the fullest is to ask yourself this question when you are kept in a compromising situation that will deflate your morals and values: How Would Jesus do it?
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