I never stood a chance at being popular. Externally, I was pudgy, freckled, and wore glasses. I loved to read and did well in many things, never standing out or excelling at any one thing. It seemed, to me, that I was perpetually on the fringe, and although it often hurt, eventually I became content with that. I’m thankful. Instead of becoming someone who was always striving to fit in, worried about what other people thought of me, I felt free to be who I really was and pursue the things that I wanted to pursue, not just because everyone else was doing it. It also allowed me to be an authentic Christian, imperfect to be sure but willing to be honest and transparent about my walk and my faith because I didn’t feel a need to hide my light under a bushel. I learned the hard way that it didn’t amount to a hill of beans if I fit in with the culture around me-it only mattered if I fit in with God’s purpose for my life.

If I close my eyes, I can see a fuzzy picture of my boys as men. My prayer is that they are like great men in Scripture who lived in the world but not of the world. I don’t want them to go through Hard Knox to figure it out-so I’m praying, praying, praying for them to develop character now and equipping them with what they need from Scripture to know their value in the sight of God. They won’t be immune, or escape unscathed from pressures to be sure. But if the decisions they make are theirs alone to choose based on Biblical guidance, I think they will be ahead of the game. Being on the fringe is often a blessing in disguise, but I have a feeling that these knights in training may lead the charge anyway. And if they do, at least I will know that they were taught not to lead because they are trying to impress anyone, but instead are striving to impress the only One.