'83-'89 GBCS Alumni
that recently at an all-school reunion, the entire graduating classes of the 1980's gathered and sat around a single table. We had six in my class of '87. My poor niece just graduated valedictorian of her school. She had a class of 1.
my folks with my niece's entire graduating class
This may come as a big surprise....but I am the product of Christian school education. And not just any Christian school....a Baptist school! No, I wasn't raised Baptist, I was raised Charismatic. Don't try to figure that one out, particularly when adding both Missionary and Seventh Day Adventist university education into the mix.
Going to high school at a Baptist Christian school was challenging for many reasons. First: dating. Not many girls to date in your school, so when you break-up it better be on good terms because no doubt, you would be dating them again when it came time for your rotation.
No dancing, drinking, smoking, cussing, drugs, rock music-especially Christian Rock, jeans or revealing clothing of any kind, kissing, holding hands, comments that could be interpreted as lewd or sacrilegious, use anything other than the KJV, so on and so on. The tough thing was that any time a new guy showed up who was kicked out of the public schools (the rebel) the girls all fell for him instantly. My role was sorta Alex P. Keaton meets the Godfather. I was both bad and good, but my badness had to have a distinct purpose and goal. A few years back I was confused with another guy in town with an eerily similar name and was asked if I "sewed wild oats in high school". I laughed off my seat and said, "gee...I may have been cool for Christian school standards, but I was still kinda a geek for public school standards."
My Class of '87
I look back and I don't think I like the guy I was in high school. I don't think I would have hung out with me, and probably would like to have kicked my a*!. Nonetheless, we were who we were. Which leads me to this all-school reunion.
You see, there was this kid two years under me. He hung out with one of my best buds there, but I always felt he was a bad seed. And he proved it. He went away to college and that was the last I heard of him. Until last week. It seems he acknowledged his mistakes, regrouped and started heading down a pretty straight path. And then as bad luck would have it, the trials came.....and he suffered, his new found ministry suffered, and in some respects you might say life caught up to him.
He was at the reunion, at the 80's table, and sat next to me. We made small talk and then he gave a short devotional that blew me away. With a slight quiver to my voice I said, "buddy, you have a gift". People change....maybe because we are extended grace...but we change. Sometimes for the worse, but from what I can tell, usually for the better. I think back over the last 2-3 years and think wow, I am sooo different today than then. I would hate to be judged on what I was like 3 years ago let alone high school.
Which tells me....simply....do not judge. I think that's biblical or something. Hey PNW Hoosier...WE MISSED YOU!