Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Living on the Edge

Wallflower – this term became known to me early-on in my life. Being one was not fun, and sometimes hurt. I was not cool. I couldn't dress to impress. We didn't throw parties that everyone was begging to attend. I still remember feeling proud the day when Dad picked us up from a birthday party in his company car – a deep purple Firebird – our “recognition factor” jumped several points as guys and girls crowded around to see it. The white Camaro had the same effect. 

Our church youth group was something of which my sister and I longed to be a part. We tried to join groups in discussion, we joined the musicians and played with the congregational singing. Our parents didn't let us attend many sleepovers so our “fun times” were somewhat limited, but still there.
I must have mentioned some of these feelings of being unwanted to one of my mother's friends and she told me something I'll never forget. “Toni, sometimes being a wallflower is better than being in the popular crowd.” 

This made me think and finally start to accept my “status”. Life moved on. We changed churches a couple times and I moved south. But, I stayed on the edge.

Not all is lonely on the edge. I have many friends and times to talk and learn are many, but the drive to be popular has lessened some and I find life is less stressful. The benefits of a wallflower have increased as I consider my life. My growth in Christ has been assisted by true friends but not pressured by peers. Peer pressure is less on the edge and only has disastrous effects when trying to join the crowds. Don't get me wrong, I'm not denying that I would like to be considered popular. There is a deep feeling in all of us to be wanted by others.

The challenge/point of this post? Don't strive to be the center in the popular crowd. Strength to stand alone is greater when not spinning on the popularity merry-go-round. Seek the Lord and His will for your friendships, standards, and directions for your life.

If you are at the center of a crowd, don't underestimate the power of your influence. You may find it harder to stand-up for what's right, but the effects will be far-reaching. Also, consider those on the edge, a smile or an interest in their life goes a long way. But like I mentioned above – seek God and His will, without pressure for results acceptable to those around you.

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