REMEMBERING … JUNIOR HIGH YEARS
Dr. James J. S. Johnson
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’. (Ecclesiastes 12:1)
Remembering Peer Pressure Testings during Junior High Years, in Reisterstown and Wards Chapel, Maryland
When I think back, on days gone by,
Such as my years, in junior high:
Peer pressure dares, and snobby sneers;
God’s grace my guide, not foolish peers —
Rich victories won, as time hiked by.
This limerick begins a “Pilgrim Geography” series, recalling how God has providentially blessed me in various places, along life’s journey as I trek about this earth as a “pilgrim” belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ.
During my junior high years I was confronted with a lot of ugly peer pressure (i.e., opportunities to sin), which repulsed me and nudged me toward the more-independent pathway of “daring to be a Daniel” — when peers mocked my teen-aged piety (as if I had a loser lifestyle, as a “jerk” who would never become “popular”) saying NO to opportunities for immorality.
(Although one doesn’t always know who is watching — https://wordpress.com/post/leesbird.com/95265 — personal moral integrity is often showcased when “no one” is watching. Besides, it’s never true that “no one” is watching, because God always observes us, even when human eyes and ears don’t.)
Needless to say, I have no regrets that I repeatedly refused “dares” to compromise my personal integrity for the fleeting comfort (and false “value”) of peer “acceptance”/approval.
For a few Old Testament Scriptures, that inform God’s children of their privileged calling as “pilgrims”, see Genesis 47:9; Exodus 6:4; and Psalm 119:54. In the New Testament, see especially Hebrews 11:13 and 1st Peter 2:11.
By God’s grace, since becoming a Christian (during autumn of my 6th grade year), my earthly pilgrimage (which has included a lot of Providential geography) has been an ongoing mix of life experiences that provide character tests and opportunities to grow in serious loyalty to (and fellowship with) Him, always being enabled by His indwelling Spirit’s all-sufficient grace and guidance (Romans 8:9; Ephesians 4:30), spiced and seasoned with a generous sprinkling of surprises, learning, adventures, joy, and abundant life (John 10:10).
Thank You, LORD, for being with me — and shaping my young life then — through those precious years.