An open plea to rising seniors to become rising change-makers.
I write this having spent nearly 20 years encouraging and equipping students to step foot on their high school campuses for the glory of God being unashamed of Jesus. Each year I encourage, try to ask thought-provoking questions, and seek to build up with words written and spoken. But this year is different. And I mean there has been a fundamental shift that cannot be ignored with positive thinking and naïve worldviews. You see, the theatre of our culture seems to have assumed the tone of a dark drama/thriller that appears more and more to be a gothic tale of a city on a hill that began tumbling into the sea.
To venture down the same old road of this year being the best yet, and so on and so forth, would be both misinformed and misguided. If the trajectory of what we are witnessing in culture continues, well, then the coming year will offer more heartbreak than the normal heartfelt senior traditions. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not a pessimist. If anything, most of the time I’m an optimist undeterred by obstacles and reality. But unfortunately, there are no signs that the storms brewing all around us will subside in the coming months and years.
That is UNLESS.
Or as Dr. Suess so beautifully penned it in The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Unless there is a generation who shoulders the burden of the coming days, declaring the future will be purchased with their hard work, dreams, and a courageous belief in the promises of God; then nothing will change. It is apparent that many of the characters performing on the stage in our culture are coming up short time and again. Which leaves me wondering, maybe we need a new cast altogether. One with an appreciation for the past and deep conviction about the future. Rising leaders who are less concerned with categories than they are with real results. Those who believe the best, and are willing to get dirt underneath their fingernails working to that end.
So it is, rising seniors, that I plea with you to be that generation. To be the generation of ‘unless’. Those who stare evil in the eye and smile because they already know how the story ends. Those who walk heart first into the future with joy and optimism ready to face whatever may come next. Therefore, I simply plea that…
UNLESS you embrace your citizenship and choose to be salt and light in the public square where laws are passed, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care about the marginalized and overlooked in our culture, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care about gun violence and mass shootings, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care deeply about God’s desires for the family, and what is going on in the world around you, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care about the child in the womb being a person made in the image of God, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care about those already born who cannot care for themselves or simply need help doing so, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care about humans being purchased and forced into a life of sex slavery, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care about the stain of the past and ongoing sin of racism, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care about the local church being willing to endure with one another, then nothing is going to get better.
UNLESS you care about your classmates, teammates, teachers, coaches, and family members who haven’t experience the life available to them in Christ Jesus, then nothing is going to get better.
I think, no I pray, that this is starting to make sense rising seniors:
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”