Who Are Your Friends?

The Harris brothers [therebelution.com] correctly stated that "you are who your friends are." While this simply displays the importance of choosing friends who will support you in doing the right thing, it can be easy to stop it there and just choose good friends.

However, it is also important to realize that entertainment such as movies, music, time spent on Facebook, or even reading a book can influence how we live our lives. Just like you would spend time with a friend, we often spend similar time with our own forms of relaxation and entertainment. Consequently, it is vital to take the time to read the lyrics of that song you want to buy on iTunes, research the rating of the newest movie that "everyeone's watching," and try to limit time spent on the internet and social networking sites such as Facebook or Myspace. While certain movies, songs, and chatting on Facebook are good things in and of themselves, we as teenagers need to begin doing the hard thing and re-evaluate what it is that we are feeding ourselves.

For example, when I personally want to buy a new song from an artist I am not generally familiar with, I tend to look up the lyrics and think about how those lyrics may influence my life. For instance, I have made the decision to not date until I am ready for a long-term commitment. If a song has frequent references to a certain theme [like dating] that makes me question my convictions, I know that song is not for me.

Don't get me wrong, doing these things can be very hard. At first glance, it may seem exciting and a great way to practice doing hard things. However, it gets more difficult as new songs come out with even more catchier tunes!

Please join me in taking the time to consider who exactly it is that we spend our time with. Who are your friends?

Thanks for reading!


This is the Future

Owl City, a new band created by Adam Young and recently growing in popularity, has put out some amazing tunes. One of my favorites is "This Is the Future." Though simple as they may be, the lyrics to this song are very profound and inspiring:

Wake up on your own
And look around you cuz you’re not alone
Release your high hopes and they’ll survive
Cuz this is the future and you are alive

Dive in and swim away
From your loneliness and miserable days

And when you wake up on your own
Look around you cuz you’re not alone
Let your hopes go and they’ll survive
Cuz this is the future and you are alive
…You’re headed home

The lyrics seem to portray the importance of making a
difference in life...and making that difference through the use of collaboration. "When you wake up on your own" hints a recognition for change, a waking up to the reality of life and the reality of eternity. He tells us to "look around you cuz you're not alone"...once we realize what we're living for, we need to step out and act accordingly with others who share our convictions. Though hard as it is sometimes, we need to start living with all that we have, all we will ever be. We need to "let [our] hopes go" and give them to the One who cares, the One who will help us accomplish those dreams.

But what if we've missed it...we're "
headed home" with our past behind us. How will you choose to live, if "this is the future and you are alive?"