My first day in high school was a nightmare. It was the first day I would be away from home. After admission,I waved at my parents car until it disappeared in the horizon. The tightening in my chest eventually gave in to streams of tears as the reality hit. I am all alone and away from home. No one prepared me for what followed. As I walked to the dormitories, I heard someone shout and burst into laughter at the same time. I turned around and to my astonishment I was the object of this hilarious moment. A group of girls stood and laughed pointing at me as their leader jeered and mimicked my walking style. “Wasp!Wasp!” She called;- I purposely ignored her and tried to walk as fast as I could but they kept following me. Fortunately, the matron came to my rescue and the bully bunch dispersed. In the dorm there were other new girls who were in tears. I wondered if they were lonely, homesick or they had encountered the same welcome I got. The excitement I had felt a month earlier when I received the acceptance letter to join this prestigious highschool was no where to be traced. I kept wondering, why did they call me wasp? Why that insect? How can young girls be so mean to a stranger? Eventually I learned that the girl who terrorized me was a form 3 student (11th grader) who enjoyed bullying the form ones ( 9th graders). The nickname wasp was due to my tiny waist. In all this experience what bothered me most was the crew that laughed and supported that mischief. After a few months I gathered courage to ask one of the girls why she did nothing to stop it.
I still remember her answer,
” I had to do it since every one else was doing it.” I was afraid of what might happen if I stood against her,then she would turn on me.”
In life we make choices based on diverse reasons. Our actions are as a result of the choices we make. But, how many times have we made choices for the sake of the people around us?
King Saul was given an assignment with clear instructions, but when it was time to accomplish it, the people around him influenced his decision making and led him to disobedience.
20 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I did obey the voice of the Lord, and went on the [k]mission on which the Lord sent me, and have brought back Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the choicest of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”1 Samuel 15:20-21
Imagine such influence on a king. I know you can relate too. There are things you and I have done not because it is what we want but it’s because of the people around us.
What will people say? What will people think? These questions are derived from a fearful heart. Like the girl in this story, she knew it was wrong, but fear of people hindered her from doing the right thing.
Dare to be different. Dare to make decisions that are personal. Make choices for you. Especially if it’s in relation to your purposes, dreams and goals. Do not let other people dictate what you do.
Why are you doing that major?
Why are you in that career?
Why are you dressed in that style?
You can add more questions here to help you analyze the reason behind your choices.
Can you confidently say this is for me. It’s personal.
©Pastor Lucy Paynter