I have always found it difficult to ‘fit in’ with what is considered popular.
Back when I was born, my mother was thirty-eight having her first child. To be that age delivering your first baby in those days was a pretty big deal. My father was five years older. This led to my being a bit of an ‘old soul’ due to the people surrouding me as I matured. For a time, I was probably more in the company of older people than people my own age.
But I was loved.
I grew up KNOWING that I was loved.
I also grew up knowing that I was the child and that they were the parents.
My mother had lived in New York city and had some difficulty in adjusting to what was ‘normal’ in a small town. Perhaps, that was why she tried to teach me French at an early age; surround me with classical music, opera, and fine art; provide me with an assorment of food tasting experiences from chutney to Armenian string beans; and go out of her way to show me what prejudice was and how to avoid it.
My father, having graduated high school during the height of the Great Depression, was eager to impart to me the dangers of credit, over-indulgence (in any form, whether it be spending money or acquiring possessions one didn’t ‘need’), and the discipline of hard work and proper behavior. (Sloth, cursing, lying, stealing, and talking back to a parent or your elders, was NOT proper behavior!)
I may have been an only child but there was no way I was going to be a SPOILED only child!
So, while I spent my teenage years in the late ’60’s, I really have very little in common with a lot of my generation. I never protested, burned my bra, turned on, or fell into the sexual revolution.
You might think I would have regrets, or even bitterness over this fate.
Some would claim that I ‘missed out’ on a lot of life.
I thank God that I was so blessed.
I may not have been the poster child for the world back then, but I was assured of a loving devotion that so many in this world never experience. While my parents were extremely protective, they did allow me the bumps and bruises that come from learning to fall down and get up. They advised me of life’s pitfalls but let me know that should the world prove to be too much for me, I would always have a place to go…albiet I would return to living with their rules.
I was lucky enough to find my soul-mate and embark upon marriage and motherhood. To be honest, I was busy with my family and came to the job market rather late–but I eventually found a position in a business that I truly enjoyed until I decided to leave it when faced with the declining health of my mother.
So why have I bored you with all this…..?
Because all too often now, people feel that they are ‘missing out’ if they don’t foolow the route that is proclaimed as ‘normal’ or ‘popular’.
No, everyone doesn’t have to get drunk to have fun.
No, everyone doesn’t have to ‘turn on’ or experience their ‘sexuality’ by doing whatever they like.
No, you are not assured of getting what you want, when you want it, how you like it.
Life is not a fast-food restaurant!
I think of my parents a lot when I read Paul’s declaration in Romans 12:2–And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
They did more than show me a love for the fine arts, or financial wisdom–they raised me to honor God more than humanisim. They illustrated the Golden Rule in their actions with others. They led me to read the Bible and showed me how to meditate on God’s word. They illustrated in their actions with people in all they met that I should accept a person for WHO they were, not WHAT they had, or HOW they looked–that skin color, or clothes, or education, or possessions had little to do with a person’s character.
I wasn’t raised to conform to what was happening in the ’60’s.
Some might say I lost out.
In truth, however, I was given one of the greatest gifts a parent could give to their child–love, Biblical truth, the ability to learn and experience all types of cultures and opinions so that I could eventually make my own decisions.
You do not have to ‘fit in’ to belong in this world…you simply have to find it within yourself to care less about what people say about you and more about what God will say…..