“Does it really matter?” she asked. “Is anything really worth it?”
She was 17 and struggling. A recent high school graduate she had no idea where life was going to take her.
“I’ve done all the right things and doors slam. I can’t go forward. What good are my dreams if I can’t pursue them?”
Tears formed on her cheeks. “I’m done,” she said and walked away.
Apathy! It’s a problem these days. Lack of concern, indifference, passivity; our society is eaten up with it.
I stepped in front of the time capsule at the Stephenville Public Library and read the inscription. It had been set in place in 1991. It was to be opened in 2089. I wondered what the vault held. What mattered in 1991?
“Does it really matter?” the girl’s words echoed in my head. Staring at the capsule I wondered about the thoughts, attitudes and hopes in 1991. What did we want the coming generations to know?
I remember the 60s, 70s and 80s and the transition to the year 2000. I look around, I hear the news, I read the papers and participate in social media and I wonder what the world will look like in 2089.
I won’t live to see but my grandchildren will. What kind of world will they be living in?
“Of course, it matters!” I wanted to scream at the young girl. You matter. We all matter. There is a “yes in the mess!” There can be no resurrection without a crucifixion. We all face hardships. God never said it would be easy. He does promise it will be worth it.
I sat down on the steps in front of the library. I understand young people’s concerns. They don’t know where to go, what to do or how to figure it out. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but sometimes we never figure it out. Sometimes, life, at best, is not good.
I thought about the time capsule. What would I put in a time capsule? What message would I convey?
I’d want to leave a Bible. I would leave an American flag and a copy of our constitution. I’d want to add a menu from a couple of restaurants illustrating Texas cuisine. I thought for a minute and decided maybe words of wisdom and insight were more important.
Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Don’t stop trying and never think you are not important or do not matter. We all matter, we are all important. God has a plan, but we have to face each struggle with all the tenacity we have. Of course, things matter. We face the battle and keep on keeping on.
Jesus said in scripture to go forth and make disciples of all nations. God is using us in ways we can never imagine. Your pursuit of your dream may be the one thing that keeps the next person afloat. Your try, your attitude, your focus, your honesty, your integrity, everything about you may be the things that pave the road for the next person in line.
I don’t have any answers. Most of the time I fail miserably. I’m not one to give advice, but I care, and other people care, and our journey is never solo!
Apathy is a tool of the devil. In my time capsule I want it made very clear that we cared. My generation cares.
I looked up in the sky and watched wispy clouds float over the town square. There is hope and promise out there somewhere.
I remembered a saying, “Broken crayons still color.”
Stand up, keep walking, have a good trip and don’t quit. Let your color shine. Be the light others need to see.
Melinda Clements is an E-T community columnist. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.