(This is the fourth continuation of Monday night's entry- I am repeating the introduction below.) We worked on one of my favorite assignments in our classes today. This week, the memory verse we are studying is James 1:22-24:
"Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.''We discussed the meaning and I brought up that Mom, in her late stages of Alzheimer's, did not recognize her own image. I told the kids that sometimes at the end of the day, I look at myself in the mirror, and don't always like what I see. The kids finished this statement: 'When I look in the mirror, I see....' Every student was allowed complete confidentiality and I did not even read any that requested privacy. My students were very honest. Over the next few nights, I'll run some of the responses of those who wanted to share; today's entries were all written by young men. Some will choke you up.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a lost young man. I see a hard worker who is shy when many people are around. I see a boy who has been from house to house, trying to find the security and love he wants. I see someone who was overlooked but kept pushing and striving to be the best he can be. I see a person who has had coaches, brothers, and a hard working mom to mold him into the young man he is today. I see an insecure person who is nervous about the real world, who wonders every day where he will end up in the future. I see a person who has seen the struggles of an incarcerated brother and the never-give-up mentality of a different brother to make him even more motivated in life." A.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a person with all the potential in the world but afraid to use that potential because he is worried about the possible failure. I see a young man confident in the skills he possesses and commands respect when he uses his talents. I see someone who wants to make others feel good about themselves and does not judge them. I also see a person who knows his limitations and works hard to change them." M.
"When I look in the mirror, I don't really like what I see. I see a kid who hasn't really grown up- a kid who is insecure and lacks confidence. I have really go to work on that. I also see scars that remind me of what I've done and where I've been. My face might not be symmetrical because of them but they also show that the hurt and pain is over and that the wound is healed. I hope they will fade away as time passes and that I'll be able to move on." R.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a burden, a spoiled kid who was given so many opportunities in life but who takes them for granted. But I also see a faithful and good hearted person who tries to do what's right in most aspects of life. I see a lazy, unmotivated young man, one with constantly changing emotions. Through my faith, I am taught to keep moving forward and be like Jesus." E.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a big disappointment. I see a good looking young man who has wasted his time wondering instead of finding direction in life. I have the height, talent, and knowledge to excel not only in sports but in the classroom. When I look in the mirror, I see a guy who is angry too much in his life, a guy who gets caught up caring what everyone else thinks of him instead of staying true to himself and his family. When I look in the mirror, I see a guy full of potential but one who does not know how to get it out. I see a guy who people care about and want in their lives. I see a guy who needs friends to share his life with. I see a young man with a bright future." A.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a very successful young man who has never truly failed at anything in his life. I also see a changed young man who four years ago would not have recognized himself today. I see someone whose future is not only paid for but laid out for him and the only thing he has to do is make the most of it and work hard to keep it. When I look in the mirror, I see a young man who wants to be involved in his church and someone who wants to and is giving himself to God. I see someone who is surrounded by family and friends who care about him." H.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a young man eager to transition into the real world. I see someone strong minded and unafraid of speaking and expressing his thoughts. I see a young man who has many diverse perspectives on cultures and people due to his exposure to the world. I see a handsome young man who is wise for his age but who understands that there is much more knowledge to be gained. I see a young man willing to partake of his own spiritual journey and seek the truth within himself. I see a young man undeterred and who does nor falter in the face of adversity, always maintaining his composure. He is filled with love for all people and displays compassion for others' spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. This young man I see only wishes for tranquility and knowledge of the truth." B.
"When I look in the mirror, I see a young man who has accoplished much but still feels there is something to strive for; a young man who underestimates himself more than he should and wants more than anything to fulfill the expectations set so high by God and the people close to him. I see someone who loves his life and the way things are going and willing to do anything to keep it that way. I also see someone who can be selfish and though it is wrong, it is often misunderstood by others. I see someone at a fork in the road, a fork leading to one road that fulfills dreams and one road that destroys them. I just pray to God that the young man in the relection chooses the path of fulfillment and not of temptation. I see a young man who has been given everything he needs, both physically and mentally, but isn't sure what to do with it." K.
Applicable quote of the day:
"I mean, one of the things about being alone is that you've no people to define yourself from. I mean, people are like all-round mirrors, because, let's face it, we don't often see ourselves all round in a mirror anyway, do we?"
Diana Wynne Jones