What is it like to live as an Adventist Christian teenager in the 21st century? It can be fun and yet can be challenging to stay on track. It is so easy to get carried away with worldly pleasures nowadays. With the technology we have now, it seems everybody wants to fit in. Romans 12:2 strongly urges to not be conformed to this world. There are many things in this world that have become acceptable, and people have been blinded by this, not being able to tell what is right and what is wrong. Only by God’s strength can our minds be completely transformed to overcome the temptations and fears of this earth. It is simple to say that it would have been easier being a Christian teenager many years ago rather than to be one now, as we are always exposed to earthly pleasures. Exposure to things such as technology and social media can turn into a distraction as we grow. It seems like every day the list of things we should avoid just gets longer. What we are facing is real!
As an Adventist teenager, I believe that one of the things that we need to be careful of is social media. Social media has its ups and downs. We can use it to contact our friends and family and for entertainment; but things can go wrong very quickly. It can become a distraction and be deceiving. Seeing other people and doubting ourselves can affect our self-esteem. Too much time spent on social media can lead to a halt in quality communication with friends and family. There are people who use this platform to influence our thoughts and principles; and if we are not careful, we can be easily swayed until we no longer know what is right and wrong. God’s principles should always be the standard we need to follow in all aspects of our life.
Another issue that we are facing is the pandemic. No one could have predicted this notorious virus, the COVID-19 outbreak. It has affected so many people – families, the young and old – and I am no exception. I can vividly remember March 2020, when the first lockdown was announced due to this virus. There was a sudden change in people’s lives – the “new normal”, they called it. Wearing a mask at first was uncomfortable, making it a bit hard to breathe. But in order to prevent my family and me from catching it, I had to wear it. I couldn’t go to the shops, I could not see my friends, and I could not go to school. Online learning became the new form of education. All homework was done online. The downside of this type of learning was sitting in the same place for several hours and straining my eyes. I became tired of it. I missed going to school and doing the activities there. I missed going to church, and although zoom is used, it’s quite tempting to lose focus on the service. Covid-19 has claimed many lives. Many families have mourned for their loved ones; people lost their jobs; some teenagers have lost their focus with their studies; and some have lost their interest in spiritual things. Where do we go from here?
To all Adventist teenagers, I encourage you to be vigilant and keep the faith. The devil is like a roaring lion, looking for us, so that he can easily make us leave our faith. Satan’s scheme is subtle and yet very dangerous. To our beloved SDA church, pastors, elders, deacons and parents/guardians, we ask that you include us in your prayers. There are times you may see us taking the wrong path or behaving in a way that Adventists shouldn’t. We ask that you do not ignore us but instead, lovingly and firmly remind us. Let us all make a conscious decision to follow God’s principles wherever we are. The Lord does not want anyone to be lost. Lastly, let us ponder on this verse: Ecclesiastes 12:1– ‘Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth, or ever the evil days come, and the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them’.