Recently at our dinner table, my father addressed our family on an issue that had been bothering him for some time. “I worry about you,” he said, speaking to my older sister, my two younger brothers, and myself. He elaborated by saying that it was one of his greatest concerns that we have a firm foundation on which to build the rest of our lives. In this modern age, the world seems to foster a culture of baseless relativity, encouraging young people to drift about from place to place with no proper direction or purpose. During such tumultuous times, it is vital that Christian young men and women have a deep spiritual understanding of the scriptures in order that they may adequately defend their beliefs.
Perhaps my father’s unexpected outburst was related to the fact that my eighteenth birthday had just passed, and I was now, in the eyes of the state, an adult. Regardless of whether or not these two events were connected, I felt particularly convicted by his words. It may seem basic, but understanding that the Protestant Reformed (PR) churches provide me with the purest form of spiritual nourishment is the most important way I can assure that I am firmly grounded to weather the world’s continuous assault. This is not to say that salvation or a solid scriptural basis cannot be found outside of the PR churches. The Lord chooses to gather his people from all nations, tribes, and tongues, and he works in the hearts of all of his elect, not just the members of my church.
However, remaining in the PR church and eventually becoming a confessing member will do a great deal to prepare me for my adult life and the challenges it will present. When I look at the world, and how the godless youth of my generation choose to live, it causes me great distress. In a time when divorce, remarriage, and infidelity are commonplace, children grow up in broken, empty homes. Often they are more or less forsaken by their parents and left to fend for themselves. It is no wonder that because of this, the children of my era have learned to imitate their parent’s sins, and go into the world indulging in all manner of carnal pleasures.
While so many lack direction, it is more important than ever to be an outspoken witness of God’s guiding light. In the words of Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” I know that more often than not, I fall miserably short of this calling, but as I continue to grow and mature in my faith, I strive to achieve the high standard that has been set. From the perspective of a high school student, sometimes my life feels so frantically busy that I barely have a moment to think, let alone set aside time for meditation on scripture or personal devotions; but having such a crammed schedule is part of what makes devotions so important.
When I get so caught up in my daily worries and problems, nothing brings me back to earth like pausing for moment and hearing what God has to say about my suddenly trivial issues. For example, nothing puts my problems in perspective quite as well as reading about the heart-rending trials that Job endured for the sake of God’s glory. Knowing what comfort my fellow young Christians and I have is part of what makes seeing the members of this lost and hopeless generation so distressing. Every man, woman, and child knows that true assurance can only be found in the Lord, but still they deny him and instead grasp hopelessly at straws and desperate imaginations, trying to create substance but finding only illusion.
I cannot even begin to imagine how different my life would be if I had not been raised in the loving, Christian family I am blessed to be a part of. Without my father’s constant concern and careful guidance, I would have ended up as just another mute member of the senseless masses, blindly groping through life. The foundation my upbringing provided me with has given me a peace that is incomparable to any earthly pleasure I could ever enjoy, and maintaining and building on this foundation is a never-ending duty that I hope to pursue with vigor and enthusiasm into my adult life.