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Published on December 5th, 2014 | by Discussion Questions

How should we think about age-based restrictions?





JANAY WRITES: I know, this is The Rebelution. Kids can do awesome stuff. But there are some things I actually can’t do until I’ve reached a certain age, like move overseas as a missionary, or become a doctor. So my question is how do you deal with wanting to do that stuff when you can’t? And how do you prepare for when you can? Thanks guys!


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  • Grace

    I have also struggled with wanting to do more. I feel like us young people spend so much time in school when we could be getting out there and doing something to make the world a better place. Sometimes I feel like some of the things I learn are not even useful for my future. My parents want me to play things safe and “not grow up too fast,” but I think that sometimes we have to take risks for what we believe to be right.

    • Amanda T.

      It is true that school and stuff can take up so much of our time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still make a difference. You can influence the people around you now. It is good to look towards the future and work towards that and hope for that, but I am learning you can’t do that at the expense of what is going on in the present. Ask God to show you opportunities to do things and talk to people in the situations you are in now, and then be willing to obey when He shows you! :) You can take risks in how you talk to your friends, how you treat you siblings or that really annoying person, you can take a risk by trusting God, you can take a risk by being vulnerable and sharing in youth group. Now is our training ground for later.

      • Sam S.

        Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!! :)

        I took the risk of talking in front of my youth group. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
        And you’re right! We can make a huge difference right where we are!

        • Amanda T.

          Hahaha! :) Are you copying my answer?

          That is great, Sam! :) I am going to be sharing (part of) my testimony with my youth group at the beginning of the year. It is a little scary being that I haven’t been around there very long and I am going to have to be extremely vulnerable. However, I know the power of “taking your mask of” and I just pray that God will use it. Hard things often equals scary things, but it also equals God’s glory if you do it with the right heart!!

          • Sam S.

            Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!! :)
            Yep. It’s called copy and paste.

            Really?! You just got me excited! You’ve got a really great opportunity! Hey try to look people in the eye if you can. Lol I ended up staring down all the youth workers. Okay not really.
            Don’t be afraid to take that big scary step! I always regret them (yep you heard that right). I regret not trying even harder. So yeah! Give it all He’s got :)

          • Amanda T.

            Sam, you’re awesome! :)

            Yes, we just got a new youth pastor and he has been making a lot of really amazing changes. One of those is we have a leadership team now, and the kids on the team have the opportunity to share our testimony if we want to.

            Yeah, I usually like looking people in the eye. It helps me get over the whole “speaking to a crowd” thing and it becomes twenty different one-on-one conversations to me. However, considering the topic I am probably going to be talking about… I don’t know if I will end up being able to do that. I might just stare of into space the whole time…. or just run away and hide (not really the second part).

            Haha maybe I’ll stare all the workers down too! :) Good game plan!

            WOW!! Can I take a minute and go on and on about how much a absolutely LOVE your closing sentence!!!!!!!!!!!!! That just blew my mind! Do you mind if I steal that?! 😀 It is sooo true!! Why do we always say “give it all you’ve got”?? It isn’t about us and we can’t do anything in our own strength! We can’t do anything in our own strength! Everything we do is through Christ, so why not set that mentality?! Just think of all God is. He doesn’t run out, so if we give it all He has got… wow the things that’ll happen!!! :)

          • Sam S.

            I honestly wish I could be there!

            I thought that phase was pretty cool. I don’t even know if I invented it, so please use it!

            It sounds like you’ll be more vulnerable than I was. This will probably be an amazing day for you. I wish I could have shared deeper, but I’m not sure how that would work without possibly hurting someone else. I tired of the mask but I keep it on loosely I care too much about what other people think. This needs to change. How will they know what joy and freedom look like until someone shows them?!

            I’ll be praying about this when I remember you.

          • Amanda T.

            Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep!! :) :)

            I probably will just open up. I think it is what God wants me to do. It is scary, but it is scarier to think about not obeying God.

            Oh, I think I understand what you are saying. The reason I said “part of my testimony” is that is really all I will have time to cover. (Bet you would never have guessed that!! :) ) I can kind of split my story up into four parts or almost four stories of their own. They are all powerful because they can all be used by God to show His greatness, but I am hesitant to talk about one part because it deals with a close relationship I had that is ruined. I have a hard time figuring out how I would talk about it and what if that person came across it?… Who knows, one day I’ll probably share it more. It doesn’t matter what other people think about me. And when the time comes, God will give me the right words! :)

            Not getting so caught up in what others think about me is an almost brand new concept in my life. Well, I won’t say “concept” because my mom preaches that lifestyle, but “applied concept” yes. Just like I’ve heard it said (oh I think it might’ve been C. S. Lewis) “humility isn’t think less of yourself but thinking about yourself less.” I find the same thing applies to not worrying about what people think. It isn’t that I stopped caring as much as I stopped caring if they cared. I don’t know if that makes sense… Basically, if God is wanting me to do or say something, I look at Him and see that He is pleased and that is all I focus on. Oh, there were other people around, too? Okay.

            WOAH! *jaw hits floor* That is crazy! Why did you pick the words “joy” and “freedom”?!?! Of all the words!! :) That is a God thing there!

            And thanks! :) I could definitely use prayer!! It will only be the second time I have shared my testimony. And this will be a much bigger group than last time!!! (You watch, no one will show up that week :) ) I have a hard time figuring exactly what to say, especially since I won’t have a ton of time, and well… haha! I’ve been having a really hard time the past few months and I am scared I will be in one of my bad swings down and I don’t want to get in the way of what God could say. …I sound like Moses, don’t I! Oops! I just need peace. And a whole bunch of other things. Anyways, all that to say “thank you”!! :) I’ll let you know how it goes (when the time comes) and I am planning on putting my story on my blog. So when that is a thing, you could just read it there :)

          • Sam S.

            Exactly!!!
            I’ll have to remember to check out your blog when it’s up.

            Joy and freedom. I got that from the story of Justin in Start Here. It perfectly describes a feeling I have had after talking about my failures.
            Yeah I totally understand not wanting to talk about ruined relationships; it’s rather awkward.

            That thing about it being scary (but not as scary as not doing it) perfectly describes what happened to me. A week are two before iI decided to share, I had told my friend that I was interested in doing something like that. So during youth group a couple weeks later our teacher asked if anyone wanted to share their testimony. My friend looked at me and when I didn’t do anything, she decided to. That night I went home frustrated that I didn’t do it. So with shaking hands I typed an email to the teacher asking if I could share the next week. He was thrilled. I got there that night mostly unprepared. And…no one had brought a computer to show the song lyrics on. So I was busy getting another computer down there. Everything was crazy. The leader got up to teach and he kinda just started talking. I hoped he had forgotten about me. Then about a minute latter he had me up there. As prepared as I tried too be, I was sure I wasn’t. You know what? God used it anyway. I don’t know if it impacted anyone else, but it impacted me so it was worth it.
            I just got interrupted. I don’t remember having anything else to say so ttyl.

          • Amanda T.

            I have Start Here but with all the shows coming up and rehearsals getting busy I haven’t read it yet. Freedom is a key point in what I will probably be sharing with my youth group. Joy comes with freedom so that is included in the story as well. Also, joy has been something I have been missing lately. It can get frustrating (especially right before Christmas!!! Ugh!) but at the same time it has been an amazing journey the past few months because I do see (even though I forget it sometimes for a while) that God has still been with me the whole time, telling me “I am here. I love you!” I know one day I will be able to look back on this time and have another chapter in the story of God’s power displayed in my life.

            Yes! :) God is amazing how He takes the most impossible, disorganized, unusable mess and works it out and uses it for His glory – and greater glory than if it were going smoothly! That is a great attitude to have, and it is what we need to get through life: just obey God and don’t worry about the results because He has those under control too!

            We also have to not beat ourselves up if we miss an opportunity. I can think of a couple examples of times when I think God was telling me to do something and I said “no.” I have to let that go and forgive myself for not obeying as well as asking for and accepting God’s forgiveness. He can still use the experience at the very least to grow and teach me.

            Yeah, I had to go for a while too; I had to take my practice CLEP test for computers and computer programming – yikes! Have a great day, although I’m sure we will talk again soon! :)

          • Sam S.

            Wow that’s so cool!

            I’ve had my share of missed opportunities. I reget those mistakes and I don’t want to repeat them. Usually it’s God telling me to talk to someone who I don’t know about something. You never know how God might use that.

            Nice! Computer and computer programming are cool! I don’t call myself the programguy for nothing :)

          • Amanda T.

            :) Very true!

            Haha yeah… they are cool if you can actually do it right :) Wanna come take my test for me? I’m not too talented. I wish I was :( I’m better than I was though! For the study material you take a pre-test and then work through the book and other sources if you want before taking two more practice tests. The highest score on a CLEP test is 80, the lowest 20, 50 or more is pass and anything lower is fail. My pre-test I got a 28 and today my first practice test was 54, so there is hope at least! Maybe one day I will get the hang of it :)

          • Amanda T.

            :) Just curious, what language do you program in?

          • Hey Amanda, I gave my testimony (or part of it) twice. The first had no eye contact and was boring. The second had energy and eye contact and three people received Jesus. So, I definitely second what Sam said!

          • Amanda T.

            Thanks! :)

          • Sam S.

            Have you shared your testimony with us? I can’t remember.

          • I don’t believe I have (other then a small preview awhile ago).

          • Sam S.

            You should post it somewhere sometime!

          • Maybe. :) You should also.

          • Sam S.

            I *kinda* did one time. It was on your blog post of Rachel’s testimony. Haha. Madeleine put me up to it. I should write it up again a little more fully.

          • Yeah Trent and Sam!! You guys should!!!!

          • Sam S.

            I’ve actually never been taught any language, like officially.
            I’m pretty good with VB.Net, HTML, and also ASP.Net (it’s kind of a combination of the two). I used to be pretty good with JavaScript, but I’m a bit out of practice. I have a reasonably good understanding of CSS, a little experience with C# and Java, and I can understand C/C++ and Python.

          • Amanda T.

            Okay… wow!

            My first experience with any kind of programming was in HTML. I was working through my CLEP book and was really frusterated because the book kind of assumes you already know everything it is teaching you and I was clueless. So I decided I was just going to do my own thing for a while and try to cool off. There was a page in the book that had all these different words and stuff for HTML programming. I sat down for like 15-20 minutes and tried typing it different ways and seeing what it changed.

            After that, I took an online course from ed2go that taught Just BASIC (because it is free to download :) ) and I finished that yesterday.

            Honestly, I think I learned more from fiddling with the code than from the course because I had to figure out how it worked on my own rather than someone telling me. That’s just how I learn.

            My dad is a programmer!! :) He works at NCR. He programs in some language that not many people know… I think it is called ColdFusion, and then also a bunch of other languages when he needs to.

          • Sam S.

            I really learn by doing/experimenting. I learned HTML about the same way as you did. Hey did you know that you can use the HTML tags for some text formatting on Disqus? Like b, u, i, and s. Hey this is pretty neat. Nevermind: I see you used bold earlier.
            I actually tried out Free BASIC (or something like that) one time. It was cool.
            I’ve heard of ColdFusion but that’s all I know about it.

  • Hey Janay,

    In my opinion, the best way to do the big things is to start with the small things doing your absolute best. I’ve heard it said that “If you’re a street sweeper, then sweep the streets as Michelangelo Paints.” In other words: do your best at everything, even if you hate it. Doing your best includes having a good attitude.

    Last June, I went on a short term (1 week) missions trip to New York City. I was able to do this because my church’s youth group (Remedy) was able to set it up so that it cost only $300 and the team was most effective for the Kingdom. Going on that trip was one of the best decisions of my life!

    So, the second thing I find is helpful in doing the big Hard Things is having as many recorces as possible. That’s why I prefer a large church over a small church (as long as they’re doctrinally on-par with the Bible).

    And thirdly, I suggest you pray, daily or even twice or three times daily (whenever you think about it) and ask God what He wants you to do in a prayer that’s something like this:

    Dear Lord,
    Thank you for everything you’ve done for me. You are amazing; thank you! I will do whatever you want, no-matter what it is. I ask right now that you would tell me what to do next. Is this ________ what you want me to do? If it is, please provide a way for it to happen, and if it’s not, please remove this desire from my heart to do this and replace it with something better. Thank you, Father. In the name of Jesus I pray,
    Amen

    That’s my two cents on this one. :) Have an awesome day and God bless!
    – Trent

    • Sam S.

      A couple months ago I talked to a missionary that I really respect. I’m not sure I heard him right, but he talked to me about when he was trying to figure out what God had for him. He kept praying that God would show him. Eventually, God told him to just trust Him. So he stopped asking God what the plan was and started worshipping God instead. He trusted that the God who called him would lead him.
      Do we really believe that if God wants us to do something that He would let us miss it? We need to be open and willing, but we don’t need to be stressed about because we don’t know what God will do. Please don’t misinterpret this–I am all for people praying about what God wants. I just don’t want people to get stuck there.

      • Amanda T.

        Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!! :)

    • Renee

      I can’t wait till I’m “Old enough” to go on a missionary trip. :)
      Soon though…

      • I’m excited for you. A missions trip is an amazing experience.

        • Renee

          Thanks. :)

        • mimeforJESUS

          I’ve never been on a missions trip… what makes it so cool? I’ve heard a lot of people talk about their trips, but they’ve never really told me why missions trips are so important, just that they are important.

  • Sam S.

    Great DQ! I’m wondering about this too.

  • Amanda T.

    This is a good question. It is hard to find the right balance; I often fail to do so. However, it pretty much just comes down to contentment and surrender.

    Sam makes such a good point that if God wants you to go somewhere and do something, you are going to have the opportunity to do it! On the flip side, if He doesn’t want you there, don’t keep pushing to have it your way.

    It is good to hope for things and it is good to ask God for them. The bible tells us to ask.

    Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. – Matthew 7:7

    Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6

    About the verse in Matthew, I would not that is says “keep on”. God isn’t a vending machine that we push a button a right away the thing we asked for drops down for us to get. It is often a journey of consistency, and it is the journey that grows us so much more than we could ever imagine!

    As for the Philippians verse, first “do not be anxious”. There is a difference between hoping for something and worrying about it. There is no need for us to worry or fret! :)
    Secondly, “with thanksgiving”. This is (at least for me) the complicated part. Thanksgiving is a key part of this, though. God will often bring us through hard, long, difficult times in order to prepare us for where we are going. (If you have never read it, I highly recommend The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson which talks about this journey of preparation.) God wants us to hope and to reach, but so often we get too caught up with the destination. Life becomes “if I can just graduate, everything will be good” and then “once I get a boyfriend/girlfriend I will be happy” next it is “well, we actually need to get married too” and then “oh, but if I get this job! Then I will have accomplished something and life will be good” but it never ends. We go on and on looking for the next big thing to satisfy us and always come up empty. We need to take a step back and invest ourselves in God. God first; what He is doing second. We have to learn to be content. Contentment is really just being thankful for where God has you right now. It doesn’t mean you give up on what you want, and it doesn’t mean you are going to be stuck there. Just be thankful – genuinely thankful – to God for where you are now.

    I know clicking on links can be scary, but I follow the Phylicia Delta Blog and one of the things she writes about is contentment. Most of her posts are about relationships and purity, but really the lessons she talks about there are applicable to all of life!! She has a wonderful post called “Contentment Is Not A State Of Being” that really opened my eyes. I will put the link to it here, but if you don’t feel comfortable clicking on it you can just Google for the title of the article and it will come up :)
    http://phyliciadelta.com/contentment-is-not-a-state-of-being/

    When we are thankful and content with where we are, we can let go of our plans and give them to God. He can do so much better things with them that you can! :) Trust Him!

    • Sam S.

      Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep!! :) :)

      Didn’t expect to see that now did you?

    • mimeforJESUS

      “It pretty much comes down to contentment and surrender.” With faith added, that’s been the theme of the last 6 months or so for me. This whole comment was great! Especially the second paragraph.

      • Amanda T.

        :) I am glad God used this to speak to you! I do think faith, contentment, and surrender are really all intertwined. Those three are always part of life, it isn’t something we will ever “achieve” or “master”. It is hard, but keep your eyes on Jesus through everything. Take your victories, your struggles, your questions and everything else to the cross- and leave them there :) (….I just realized I am talking to myself here too!)
        God bless!!

        Loved and Never Alone,
        Amanda

        • mimeforJESUS

          You have no idea how timely your last comment was in my life!

  • Priscillabower

    I struggle with this a ton! I am a go getter and I always have big dreams, but I have learned a lot with thanks to my parents! I am the second in four kids so I got to watch my brother get a later bedtime, permission to watch a certain movie, go to certain events that were ’13 and up’ etc. My parents would tell you that I asked the “Why can’t I?” question quite a bit. Along with having big dreams of being a missionary and an airplane pilot at a young age it was very easy for me to want to be older and not be content. Here are a couple things I have learned though…

    1. Make the best of your situation. I go down to an orphanage in Mexico for a week every summer. I love the kids there and have a heart for the people. Now when I saw the interns there that stay for the whole summer, my first thought could be… “Oh come on! I wish I was 18 so I could stay the whole summer!” Instead I try to make the kids birthday cards and Christmas packages. So there is a lot you can do to help the cause you are passionate about from where you are. You just have to look out for opportunities.

    2. Your teenage years are a time of preparation. I would like to be a pilot, however you can’t get your pilots license until you are 18. Now, I am taking a flight course online so I can gain the information now. My high school years are going to be a time of preperation, I would like to use this time to become fluent in Spanish and learn construction and mechanical skills. So I guess my point is to use your time to prepare. Think of skills you may need for what you want to do and try to learn them!

    Please, please do not waste your teenage years on looking ahead! Your childhood/teenage years are very precious and you will never have them again. So enjoy your teenage years instead of always pining away for the future.

    Hope that helps!

    • Sam S.

      Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!! :)
      (Amanda T. started that one)

      I’m trying to use my teen years for preparation as well! Sounds kinda Rebelutionary now doesn’t it :)

      • Priscillabower

        It does sound rebelutionary! And I’ve noticed the string of comments between you and Amanda T. :) lol

    • I totally agree! Doing hard things isn’t about looking ahead and waiting till we’re old enough to do the things that we consider ”hard”. It’s about doing hard things right where we are.

      • Sam S.

        “Small Hard Things”

        • Exactly! Do you ever find that the small hard things can sometimes seem harder than the big hard things? If that makes any sense. :)

          • Sam S.

            Yeah! Alex and Brett think so too.

          • Oh cool! Did they say that in one of their books or something?

          • Sam S.

            I’m pretty sure they said that in the part about small hard things in Do Hard Things.

          • Ok :) I haven’t read that since my youth pastor let me borrow a copy four years ago. I’ve been meaning to read it again sometime soon. Start Here too–I haven’t read that yet. It’s kind of weird that I haven’t read it in so long because it made a really big impact on my life and now I don’t remember much about it.

          • Sam S.

            You can read like the first two chapters online if you want to.

          • Cool, thanks! :) and thanks for chatting with me 😉 this may sound weird but I see you guys going crazy in the comments and I guess I feel like if I jump in I’d be interrupting something… Lol. I have a lot of trouble joining conversations in real life so I guess I’m not immune to it on online.

            Hmm… That was kind of random… Anyway =)

          • Sam S.

            Hey no problem! We all join the conversation at some point or another, right? The Rebelution isn’t about cliques anyway!

          • Yes! :) and beyond that I really appreciate that everyone here is really sincere and on fire for Jesus. Unfortunately, I don’t have many strong Christian friends, so checking out the conversations here is really encouraging and inspiring.

          • Sam S.

            I don’t have very much opportunity to talk to my friends during the week, so that’s one reason I like talking to all of you here.

          • That’s good! This is a life saver from boredom right now. I’m in the middle of a road trip… The tail end of it. Always the longest part 😉

          • Sam S.

            LOL. I guess it helps when you have internet….

          • Seriously. :) What did people do before the internet? I asked my parents one time and they said they couldn’t remember, haha

            And right now, ironically, my phone’s having connection issues. This comment may never see the light of day 😮 lol

          • Sam S.

            Nice.

          • Before Internet, people didn’t know what kind of awesome they were missing!!!

          • The most awesome kind of awesome 😉 Though who knows, maybe pre-Internet people didn’t get distracted as easily. :)

          • Wait, people who have internet didn’t get distracted? Whoa…. That would be amazing… (*Look! Something shine-y*) (*Look, there is….*) I get distracted pretty easily….

          • LOL me too. :) And I know what you mean… I find ways to get distracted whether I have Internet access or not. It’s pretty sad, haha 😉 It doesn’t help when I’m trying to do school and there are three adorable kitties wanting cuddles. The kitties usually triumph over schoolwork.

          • mimeforJESUS

            Same here about the strong Christian friends… so many of the people I “know” seem so shallow. I was so excited when I found this website and saw all the comments from teens like me!

          • Benjamin Lord

            I kinda thought that way too. Then I acquired some friends who are closer to the age of 60. They really encourage me toward God if my friends don’t. We can learn a lot from people of experience.

          • mimeforJesus

            Yeah, I don’t really know the older people in my church – my family has joined a church that used to be Mennonite, so the older people seem more like a different demographic (different lifestyle, worldview, etc.). But I know they have stuff to teach me anyway…

          • Benjamin Lord

            Well, I actually probably wouldn’t know the Adults in the Church, but for the fact that I started to do more ministries with them, which is something that I didn’t plan to do. I just did it. I didn’t know quite what I was getting in to at the time, but I’m glad I did it.

          • mimeforJesus

            Good for you! What sort of ministries? I’d be interested in doing some ministries, but our church doesn’t do much… Maybe I could start one :)

          • Benjamin Lord

            Well, I know someone who does door to door evangelism. I joined him and his group, although I don’t do most of the talking with people. However, when one of the pastors heard about what I was doing, he started to meet with me. In regards to instruction, those two things are the main ones.

          • mimeforJesus

            So if you know the older people, are you in the adult groups at your church? Most youth groups wouldn’t be near the older people is all.

    • cara d

      Totally agree with you. If you do as much prep now as you can, it saves time later and also shows others that you are committed enough to work hard despite restrictions. It’s hard but be patient and redeem the days!

  • Lauren

    Hey!
    While I understand the whole age-restriction thing, it really does annoy me occasionally. For example, there was a program at our local historical society for high school students that I’d always wanted to do. The very year that I would be old enough (ninth grade), they moved the age to 10th grade. :( Then the 10th grade year I was too busy. Finally the winter of my 11th grade year, God opened the door for me to volunteer as a high school intern. God provided a great boss! I had a great time (and still volunteer there!) Looking back, I am really glad I didn’t do the program when I wanted to. I would have been reporting to the education director, a man who was a little hard to work with and sarcastic to Christians. As it was, I entered the volunteer position under another person, had a great experience, and now have the confidence to deal with the education director! God was working all those details out before I even was thinking about them!
    So, moral of that story, maybe God has placed an age restriction in your path as protection. He certainly did for me!
    But don’t stop growing, getting better and learning!
    In Christ,
    Lauren

  • Halle Glushefski

    Hey everyone :) I struggle with this too. Actually just had an instance. Everyone’s comments were great and hit the spot. thanks.

  • This was a really thought-provoking question for me. I would say that, if you truly feel that God is calling you to do something that has an age restriction, ask Him to give you opportunities to grow in that area, so that when the time comes you will be prepared.

    Also pray about the possibility of doing those things sooner than you might expect. Now, in certain things (like being a missionary), that doesn’t apply. In other areas, however, God may surprise you by opening up opportunities sooner than you expect. One way He did that in my life was in giving me the opportunity to join my church’s worship team when I was thirteen. I even had the chance to lead worship on my own a few times. Trust me, I never expected any of that to happen when I was only thirteen, but God was good and unexpectedly opened a door in my life.

    I would like also to say this: please, do not waste the years you have now by wishing you could do things that God may not be asking you to do until the future. God has hard things for you to do right now, right where you are. If you want to be a missionary in the future, He may be giving you opportunities to witness to your friends right now. Keep your eyes open for the doors He is opening for you today! :) Your youth is a gift. Tomorrow and its opportunities will come, but today won’t last forever.

    God bless!
    Christy

  • Hope

    I noticed in a few comments where they mentioned being confined to “school life” and I have to admit, I struggle with that a lot! Personally, I’m not a huge fan of school. The idea of sharing Christ with some unreached people group on the other side of the world sounds so much more meaningful than staring at my algebra 2 book. But thats where the chapter on “small hard things” really hit home for me. Its those little things that prepare you for the future. I’m not a genius, but I know there will be difficulties in the future. So why not look at these “annoying distractions” (school for example) as way to gain persistence, organization, and character. And in the meantime find the areas in which you can live all for God today.

    • Thanks, Hope for the awesome reminder!

    • Renee

      Your right Hope.
      But I live “Homeschool life” :)
      So I’m always at home staring at my algebra book
      with my sisters and brothers around. XD
      ~Renee

      • Hope

        haha same here, homeschooling can be so hard to stay motivated and focused. Ive got a niece and nephew around all day too so i can somewhat relate :)

  • Skyla

    This is a struggle I can sympathize with as I have often felt the same way. Especially with so many awesome blogs of kids our age who seem to have the leeways we simply don’t posses. It is often harder doing the Hard Things here than the seemingly more important Hard Things elsewhere.
    I haven’t read all the comments but many hit the nail on the head saying that though they may not be life changing Things it will help prepare for whatever God holds for your future.
    Don’t get discouraged, keep searching for everything you can participate in to help you advance in the field you wish to pursue, and stay in prayer, The Lord will guide!
    Thanks for all the great responses everyone else had by the way, it’s an encouragement to readers and posters alike!!

  • Isaac Kitchen

    I have had this problem a lot !!! I have three older siblings, always doing things with the money they have and I don’t. I always come up with a REALLY big dream and then immediately shut it down with all the complications there is. I think the best way to handle it is to think of one thing, and then make it happen. (If you have to wait to do something it’s ok) Doing something like overseas missionary, You could go on a mission trip with your church.

  • Louis Gervais

    Janay, I would say the most important preparation for becoming an oversees missionary is to obey the Lord in the small things (and big things) right where you’re at now, and to give a lot of attention to your quiet time and then serve the Lord in some type of ministry (like helping with a children’s ministry or singing evangelistic hymns at a retirement home). If you look at the life of Hudson Taylor, he started to reach out to people and share the Gospel in simple ways while he was still in England, but before that (I think while still living at his parents’ house) he started learning the Chinese symbols (this is, of course, only useful if you know which country the Lord would like to send you to). Also, the mission field needs people who are skilled in all kinds of fields. For example, if the missionary’s truck breaks and there’s not another missionary around who is a mechanic then you’re stuck. (Depending on how isolated you are) if one of the missionaries get sick and not one of the other missionaries has medical knowledge and medicine, then that person has to get evacuated to save their life, if it’s serious. So, I would say, if you feel God has called you to missionary work (or to another work) start preparing yourself now as much as possible. And know that if you don’t stand strong (spiritually) before you go to the mission field, then chances are you won’t stand at all once you get there.

  • alana

    Some age restrictions are there for a reason. You know how 6th grade is when you enter middle school? I actually wasn’t prepared mentally and emotionally for middle school, so I was glad that the school I went to counted 6th grade as an elementary class. It allowed me to grow and I got saved that year. When I finally arrived at junior high, I was a lot more cool headed about being there. I’m now a sophomore in high school. Things haven’t been easy for me in these last five years, but it actually does help when the teachers are pushing and encouraging you to do your best. High school is suppose to prepare you for college, but pretty much everyone views it as Brett and Alex state in their book, Do Hard Things, “a vacation from responsibility.”

  • Neat question! focus on doing things on a smaller level that can benefit your “goal” If that makes any sense! for example, I want to be a missionary… ever since I was seven I have taught myself languages, drawn up mission house plans, researched different countries, details about different religions, customs and cultural aspects, etc… I raised/made the money to go to Ukraine last year on a missions trip…

    recently (this past year) (y’all might wonder why it took me this long!) God has been showing me that I need to be a missionary at home, (whether that be praying with my little sister when she is struggling with something or inviting the girl who drives with me in drivers ed, to youth group, being a friend to someone who is sitting alone, or just being a responsible young adult and not walking past the laundry on the stairs.)

    Also, you mentioned not being able to be a doctor (hypothetically)… taking that as an example; you could volunteer at the local nursing home, (stretching your comfort zone, showing Christ’s love and gaining experience in that sort of environment.) At 16 you can get a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) from a local community college or nursing home, with that you can gain experience in the medical field at a young age, (hospitals, nursing homes, etc.) (this is especially beneficial if you are homeschooled because if you work hard in school you can graduate early and have more time.)

    Also if you are a CNA you can work and save up money to support other missionaries, or to go yourself.

    Above all, get in God’s word daily! Strengthen your walk with Him… and TRUST… He has a plan for your life and He will see it to completion, He knew that you would be wanting to do what you want to do now… before He created you… if He wanted you to be somewhere else, you wouldn’t be where you are now. :)

    The best place to be is in the center of God’s will, so be in His word, seek His will.

    Be Christ to those around you, use your gifts to serve; don’t be so caught up in wanting to be somewhere else/doing something else that you don’t focus on today.

    Search for ways to do ‘Hard things’ today… not dreaming about the Hard Things you’ll do tomorrow…

    and remember, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

    “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

  • bmac

    Tell me if I sound stupid and I’ll shut up, but I think your parents can help a lot. I know some stuff are “impossible” now like being a pilot missionary, but I think if being a missionary in Africa it is truly God’s will he will lay it on your parent’s heart and they might move with you! And until then, study the language or something!

  • Savvy

    I know i’m kinda late into the discussion, but heres my advice. Even though their are age restrictions there are things that we can do. like you can’t move overseas to be a missionary but, you can volunteer somewhere to help others like you would oversees. That’s kinda how I see it.

  • Holly Dingman

    “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-22)
    Set yourself aside to God. Talk to Him, and let him talk to you through His word. Go to the quiet place and listen for the still, small, insistent voice that convicts you of the truth. When He speaks to you, obey what He is saying. The more you listen and obey, the more He will speak. This is the essence of knowing God. In Micah 6:8 it says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
    You can start practicing all this right now, in the “waiting time.” It’s the best way to be content with your current circumstances, and the best way to prepare for your future ones.

  • Since I began planning a project, I’ve been surprised by the amount of low expectations that I have encountered. People have trouble believing that as a teen I could plan and complete any sizable project, but this is exactly what the Do Hard Things manifesto is all about. Our generation’s slothful reputation has corrupted the perspective of many in authority over us, and therefore they aren’t willing to support us with time/funds. If this is the kind of restriction you’re referring to, then I recognize your goal just got harder without their support, but it is still worth pursuing.

    At the same time, sometimes our ages do create restrictions. If your “hard thing” is to fly to the moon, I hate to break it to you, but you can’t do it at your age. However, there’s nothing stopping you from learning all about spacecraft, contacting NASA about teen programs, and researching the history of space exploration. I know that’s a goofy example, but I think that it’s still a helpful illustration. Our teen years can be limiting, but they can also allow us to spend time preparing for hard things later in life.

    • And as usual I repeat everything already mentioned in the rest of the discussion- I really got to stop doing this 😛

    • Wait…. I can’t fly to the moon?? That is so sad….

      • Sam S.

        If your were the cow, you might be able to jump over it from here. But I’m pretty sure you’re not. Haha.

        • mimeforJESUS

          What if I have a cow? Could I hitch a ride on his back??? (And yes, I know it would be her back, not his back).

          • Sam S.

            Not sure, I haven’t tried it yet :)

          • mimeforJESUS

            I don’t have a cow… can you try it and tell me if it works?

          • Sam S.

            Um…well…no. I don’t have a cow either :(

          • mimeforJESUS

            Different question, but I’ve wondered… why do you have candy corn for your profile pic? Do you love candy corn that much?

          • Sam S.

            Haha. I like to talk about liking it. In reality, it’s just okay. But, I love the color orange. So yeah. French toast is better.

          • mimeforJESUS

            French toast? I’m new here. Is there more to that? I like candy corn myself, but most of my friends think I’m weird to like it. I thought I’d found a kindred spirit!

          • Sam S.

            LOL nice. You’re not weird.
            French toast is kind of a joke around here. I love French toast!

          • mimeforJESUS

            Anything else I should know about the Rebelutionary site?

          • Sam S.

            Hmm. Brett Harris is amazing….
            Trent Blake is funny and legit…and sometimes he (shhh!)*pretends* to be Yoda.
            AND…You can submit discussion questions (AKA “DQ’s”) like this one (“How should we think about age-based restrictions?”)
            Let’s see…the people here are great. Most really care about others.
            Um. I can’t think of anything else right now. Good question though!

            Forgiven and Free,
            Sam S.

          • mimeforJESUS

            You forgot to say that Sam S is good at striking up conversations with random strangers over the net, but I already knew that one 😉 How does Trent Blake *pretend* to be Yoda? Does he fly, or just talk backward? The first would be cooler :)

          • Sam S.

            Sam S. is too good at striking up conversations with random people on the internet….
            Yeah, I don’t think Trent does the fly thing, but he uses Yoda grammar (talks backwards).

            TTYL

          • mimeforJesus

            I found this conversation again! Thank you for making me feel so welcomed, Sam! I wouldn’t probably have gotten so into the Reb and other sites like it if it hadn’t been for this welcome :)

          • Woah. This is almost kinda funny. Glad you felt welcomed. :)

          • mimeforJesus

            As am I, as am I :)

          • mimeforJESUS

            Gtg now, I have work tomorrow at 7:30, and it’s almost 11:00 here!

  • liam

    reading book on it is a good way to get started and try to get a good work ethic

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