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Lesson Learned: Secular Lifestyle

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  • Lesson Learned: Secular Lifestyle

    Hey guys! Some of you may remember me, but most of you do not, which is fine just the same. I just thought I'd drop by to share an update about myself and a valuable lesson I have learned over the last two years.

    First a little background about myself. I'm 20 years old going on 21. I was raised in a Christian home and was never an overly bad kid. I've always made friends easy and made a number of friends in High School who were a bad influence. Still, I managed to stay clear of the bad stuff they did (sex, drugs, drinking, smoking, etc). I graduated high school early and killed my social life to become a workaholic focused on college and work.

    When I was about to turn 19, I got most of my stuff in order and decided to rebuild my social life and make up for the lost years of limited social life. My focus shifted on developing the largest social circle I could manage. I wanted to be the guy every guy and girl wanted to hang out with and call everytime something fun was going on. I made a ton of "acquaintances." I found myself having less and less time for God, until He was lost somewhere on a list of priorities.

    This lasted a little over a year. Fast forward to January of this year when I'm 20. I can't explain what happened. I had an epiphany that this life is a dead end. For all the effort, I had no meaningful relationships. I had no meaningful friendships. I could see that I would have NOTHING to show for all this partying several years from now. I know guys right now who are in their late 30's who have partied most of their life. They have nothing worthwhile to show for it. Not a single thing. That's a sad situation to be in. Sadder still, they know this and regret it, but think that it's just the way life is. I guess after realizing this, I decided to try something different.

    I reconnected with the church. I became active with the youth. Interestingly enough, the people were very welcoming. I can now truthfully say that I am happier than I've ever been during that strange year and a half. I can see a purpose in life again and I am confident that these people will not leave me alone.

    All this to say, if you have ever wondered and admired a lifestyle of partying and how it feels like to be someone secular people admire, don't make the same mistake I did. There is nothing there, but wasted time and opportunity. Focus on serving God and you WILL find happiness.

    That is all I wanted to share. Hopefully this can leave some kind of an impact on someone reading it.
    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    -C.S. Lewis

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  • #2
    That sounds eerily familiar, my friend.

    I too graduated high school and immediately began to focus in on work and college, at the cost of both my spiritual and social life. This started around age 19 for me, and it continued until shortly before I turned 21.

    I initially graduated high school and was intent on getting into college and avoiding having to take on work if I could manage it. I didn't want anything interfering with my studies and eating up what little free time I had. Unfortunately, my family's financial situation didn't allow for that for very long and I ended up job hunting after my first semester at college. I found a nice part time gig at a grocery store working 24-32 hours a week and before I knew it, I had almost no leisure time to speak of. I couldn't very well quit my job or school, so my spiritual life ended up getting cut out.

    The people I worked with were not a good influence on my life, but they were the only people my age I really saw on a regular basis, so they became a part of my social circle. I ended up spending a fair amount of time outside of work with them since we all worked similar schedules. Fortunately I never ended up doing anything too stupid, but I was for the most part spiritually dead. I didn't pray, didn't read the scriptures, didn't attend church or involve myself in any church groups for people my age.

    Over the course of the next year and a half, I felt an acute sense of aimlessness and restlessness grow inside me. I couldn't figure out why I was so busy with so many things all the time, and what the purpose of it all was. I was able to distract myself with tasks at hand when I was at work or doing school work, but when I wasn't doing either, it sort of ate at me.

    My epiphany, if it can be called that, was actually the result of one event I did with my church. An old friend of mine had been encouraging me to come with the high school and college students on a short term mission trip to Baja in Mexico, and I decided I might as well go. I took my week of vacation and went down there, and over the course of one week, the things I did were more meaningful than anything I had done since getting out of high school. It was the first time in nearly two years I felt I was acting purposefully, and it was because I was doing what I was doing for the Kingdom of God and nothing else.

    During that week and a few months following, I came to understand that making Christ the center of my life is the best and only way to discover that sense of peace and purpose we all seek. Later that year I left college and devoted my full attention to studying the Bible and praying for God to reveal to me the path He wanted me to walk. For the first time in my life, I had thrown aside every worldly ambition and desire and was able to honestly declare that the only thing I wanted to do was whatever God wanted me to do. In the months since, I've narrowed my circle of friends back down to only my brothers and sisters in Christ, and their encouragement, understanding, and edification has been amazing. I'm now in a better place in my walk with Christ than I ever was before, and it's pretty much the greatest thing ever.

    In Christ alone, my hope is found
    He is my light, my strength, my song
    This cornerstone, this solid ground
    Firm through the fiercest drought and storm


    • #3
      I wanted to say hello and thanks for sharing, Gods Creation!

      It is a blessing when we are given the insight to take a look at our life, and decide where it is our treasure really lies, where it NEEDS to lie, and it is a blessing to know that Christ can transform something broken that is ultimately a dead end. God allows U-Turns, and it looks like your life turned around in a GREAT way. Very awesome.
      -- Your ~sister~ in Christ.... a "Kaffinated Kittykat"!!

      ROMANS 5:8. Forgiven. Freed. Humbled. Amazed. Grateful. Relying on Christ.

      Love is not a place to come and go as we please
      It's a house we enter in, then commit to never leave
      So lock the door behind you, and throw away the key
      We'll work it out together, let it bring us to our knees.....
      Warren Barfield