This week we have two unique opportunities for students with regards to faith: See You At The Pole on Wednesday, and The Global Week of Student Prayer which began on Sunday. See You At The Pole has been a practice for the past 25 years and is now done in countries around the world. This year’s theme is “We Cry Out.” I think it’s a fitting theme for the things we’re going through as a world, and the pressures that teens are experiencing now more than ever.
Each generation has their own challenges, but thanks to social media and other various kinds of technology around the world it’s easier than ever to know about the challenges that teens today are experiencing, but it’s also made the challenges increase. For example it’s easier to communicate a secret drug buy with all the apps and text scramblers, and it’s easier than ever to bully or talk bad about someone thanks to social media. But with that there are also more ways than ever to make your mark on the world, even among all the other people of the world that have great skills, abilities, talents and gifts, so it’s not all bad news for this generation.
Some say that See You At The Pole is more about appearances than actual faith, and that the numbers that show up at the pole don’t reflect or support spirituality all year long among students. While I know this can be true for some, I think it’s still an important practice, especially if done by people of year-long (and life-long) faith. I do believe it’s important to stand up and show that you believe at events like See You At The Pole, especially if it’s a practice that stretches your personal comfort zone a bit. If it’s done by people of faith that actively live their faith, it’s also an opportunity for those who don’t have faith but are dealing with challenges personally or at home to know which of their peers they could turn to for some support and an open ear.
So to follow this year’s theme I encourage you to speak up for those who can’t as well as those who can, speak out against the practices that are harming the world we live in and the people we share it with, and pray for the wisdom to know how to lead as we move forward into the future. There can only be change if we choose to speak out against the wrong in the world and speak up and make change for a better future. What’s your cry for this teen generation or even your own?
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.” Psalm 24:3-6