November 2, 1993 – Tuesday – 9:35 p.m.

Retrospect is sort of happening right now.  My mom found my fourth grade yearbook.

Fourth grade!  Nate is in third grade right now.  And I’m a senior.  What happened?  

Everyone goes through this.  Everyone goes through grade school and middle school and high school.  Some even go through college.  They are surrounded by all those people.  All those different dreams.  Each individual with their own past and perception.  And each one shapes the other into who they will be.

Youth.  The shaping of one’s existence.

When I hear adults talk, the one thing that stands out in their conversations is their youth.  Why?

Whatever the reason, it is all happening to me right now.  In fact, half of it has already flown by.

In my life, there are two separate areas of my youth: school and church.

So many people are shaping me during these days.  Their words, their actions, their existence.  The way they smile, the way they make me laugh.  The way they hate me.  The way they love me.

Would I be the same person if Wynne didn’t always give me a hard time at school?  Would I be the same person if I didn’t see Lisa’s beautiful eyes every day?  Would I be the same person if Ryan went to another church?

Obviously, I would be a very different person.  And it works in reverse, too.  I’m affecting the lives of people I encounter every day.  Either positively or negatively.  I wonder which it is?  It’s up to me.  I see that now.  I matter.  Everything I do and say matters.  I can change the entire world simply because I was around some people on this planet during their youth.

Jesus, please help me change it for the better.

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