When one pays attention to the finer details, any life story can be interesting. When you go into detail, any common or mediocre story that could have been summed up in only a few words, becomes a confession. I realise that my own story is no exception, although it has often seemed to me that I live a banal and predictable life.
During high school I overcame my greatest vulnerability: shyness. But this statement hides more than it tells. For example, after the first year of school, our history teacher would challenge us from time to time to participate in volunteer projects. Since we weren’t interested in anything other than school and friends, we downplayed all of her attempts to involve us more. I tried to convince myself that it is enough to have good grades and to be able to go to college in another city.
I think I was actually afraid of making a mistake, and I was trying to make excuses. I imagined myself in a group of new people, unable to socialize. I wouldn’t want to attribute false words to my history teacher, but I remember her scolding me if my answers lacked proper argumentation. From this point on, my memory becomes slightly uncertain, but I know that in the end she convinced me to participate in at least one project with my classmates.
I am now in the best period of my 25 years of life. I’m about to become a teacher. It is a profession that puts me at the front of the classroom—a challenge that, at the beginning of high school, I would not have thought I would ever accept. The time frame in which the biggest changes in my life took place begins in the tenth grade and continues to this day. These have been nine years of asking questions that were necessary for my existence.
I do not have conclusive answers to all the questions, but the one that persists in my mind the most is: How authentic is my life?
For me, to live authentically, or to live according to the truth, means to live with a set of principles without which you cannot go further in life. I took this question more seriously at the end of high school, a time when I discovered the God of the Bible. The experiences that guided me to this discovery were there, but a simple question was missing: How authentically do I live? I spent the last months of my twelfth grade between two stacks of books—one for school and one for my soul. I looked for answers to a long line of questions: Who is God to me, in reality? Why is it fascinating to know Him right now? Is it really that important to communicate with Him personally? Can I have a real life without His involvement?
I experienced a strong sense of joy and discovery as I explored this fascinating Person. The change of direction in my life happened in a very short time. I enrolled in college, determined to rise above personal problems or dramas, and focus on a kingdom that “is not of this world” (John 18:36).
With this decision, I was given the chance to rediscover myself. I lost some important connections, I lived through some uncertain months, and perhaps I missed some trains that seemed to be unique chances in a lifetime. But I gained what we are all looking for: meaning. For me, true meaning in life translates into taking into account those around me and realising that I am not running a marathon, where everyone runs on his own path. Jesus ascended the cross without fear of suffering and put everything at stake for us humans. I felt, and still feel, obliged to give something back to the world.