I spent time with my sister today, and she was telling me about her class reunion that she recently attended. She told me some of the news of her classmates, and who she talked with, and what happened. It sounded like so much fun! My sister is only one year older than I am, and I knew many of her classmates.
It brought back many memories from High School. I remember trying out for cheerleading in High School. I had been a cheerleader in Junior High, but I did not make the cheerleading squad in High School. All my sisters were cheerleaders in High School. My best friends were cheerleaders. I was not.
I wanted to be a cheerleader, because I wanted to be “in” with the popular crowd. I had friends who were “in” with the popular crowd, but I was not really “in”.
This desire to belong, and be consider “cool” has cropped up in my life from time to time. I remember in High School, I tried to figure out the formula for being “cool”–was it being pretty, being a cheerleader, wearing nice clothes, having a funny personality, living in a certain neighborhood? What would make others notice me and want to be my friend?
I noticed that my son Sean, had no problems being the “cool” kid, in whatever group of kids he was in. He was funny, he was witty, he was attractive. However, he just didn’t seem to care if anyone liked him or not. He was himself–whoever he was with. To me, it seemed that his self-confidence was grounded in his relationship with God. He knew His God and knew God’s love and acceptance for him. (….the people who know their God will display strength and take action. Daniel 11:32) Sean was not trying to fill himself up with other people, He was already filled up with God. Thus, Sean loved others with the love he was filled up with.
Of course, this is my perspective as Sean’s mom. I think it is based in reality because of what others have communicated to me about Sean, but I don’t know if this is what Sean felt inside himself, only what his actions seemed to indicate he was feeling.
I also know the way kids reacted to Sean. They wanted to be around him. They laughed with him. They played with him. My husband and I joked because no one texted as much as Sean. He had so many streams of conversations going. Our cell phone guy said he’d never seen anything like it–and he’d seen a lot. 🙂
So, to answer the age old question, “How is one popular?” I think it doesn’t really matter, if one is popular with the masses. I think what matters is accepting that we are loved and accepted by the One who calls us His own. Then we can love others out of the fulness of our relationship to God. I am grateful to God for giving me an example of what this looks like, in the life of my son, Sean.
May We Be Encouraged!!