You know something has changed when you can divide your life into befores and afters: “before she did this,” “after he told me that,” “before the storm.” Being a senior means people ask you about the “after.”
People ask you to explain what happened at Vanguard that made your life befores and afters, and you can be as specific as you want: after sophomore year, before my senior year, after last week, etc.
But what’s more interesting than what you’ll do after Vanguard is who you are and who you’ll be after Vanguard. I don’t want to be one of those people who, at a few-decade class reunion, constantly hears, “you haven’t changed a bit.”
Life-changing moments are only life-changing if they extend deeper than making an impression, giving you a satisfied feeling, or reminding you of who you should be. Living differently is the key.
Never say that anything affected your life if you are not actually living a different way than you used to live and can point to concrete examples.
“This (event, person, thing, experience) changed my life and I will never be the same,” we tell each other in what is meant to become a series of afters. After that mission trip to Fiji. After meeting that child you ministered to at camp.
And then we go off determined to change how we live, but one week later we are in the exact same place as we were before, like nothing ever happened.
It’s like when you tell yourself that this will be the year you get more sleep or organize religiously or stop procrastinating. For maybe two weeks, you’re really good about it. But then forgetfulness or a busy schedule slips a noose around your determination and kicks the chair out from under it.
Before you know it, you’re behaving the same way you did before your “after” experience.
When I think of what’s “after,” it is my hope that, despite my mistakes, both Vanguard and the Voice are better because I’ve been here. I hope that change from the “after” can redeem errors of the “before.” And I’m sure that God has better things for our school and our paper with each progressing year.
So let’s quit being the same people we were when we got to Vanguard, or the same people we were yesterday. God loves us too much to leave us the way we are today. Ask God to make you who he created you to be, and to bring a change in you that will make your “after” last long after Vanguard.