P and H Truck Stop in Wells River, Vermont. Anyone who lives in the area probably knows about their famous Maple Cream Pie and their Broasted Chicken. But I am not a restaurant critic, so I will let someone else regale the world with fancy descriptions of the Vermont culinary masterpieces that are created there. What I want to focus on is WHO I was with.
There were ten of us. Four of us were “old people.” We are in our 40’s so we think we are still quite young, but our kids think we are ancient. After all, we grew up using phones that had cords attached to them and we actually know what a “phone book” is. The other six were young adults ages 17-20. Only two of them were our kids, the rest were just friends. Though I have many friends from a wide variety of backgrounds, this particular group happens to all be Christians.
It was interesting to watch them interact with each other. They laughed a lot. They occasionally whispered to each other (at which our straining old ears tried to eavesdrop unsuccessfully). They talked about school, teachers, music, movies and other things that are critically important to young adult happiness. There is a game room at the truck stop (another good reason to go there) and these young adults played the crane game again and again, winning one stuffed animal after another. Someone must lose money on those games, but it was not our group of young adults! The young adults then went swimming at a local watering hole before returning to our house to watch a movie.
As I sat on the porch listening to them laugh inside about whatever comedy they had chosen to watch on TV, it occurred to me how wonderful it is that a group of young adults can have so much fun without alcohol or drugs. I think that those of us who on the upper side of “young” think that all teenagers are having wild parties with mind altering substances that will have serious negative impact on their future. I am not naive. I know that such groups of young adults are out there. But yesterday I observed a group that had a lot of fun without all that stuff. And the group of young adults who I spent the yesterday afternoon with will remember what they did yesterday without having to throw up every ten minutes.
Perhaps what young adults need is a little space to laugh, a living room in a drug and alcohol free home where they can hang out, and some caring adults who know how to be present but keep a safe distance. Perhaps if they had these things, they would be just fine. I like to think that the Christian faith of those young people had a lot to do with their wise choices yesterday. I also like to think some good parenting was involved. I praise the Lord (and thank some caring parents) that there are young adults out there who do have the ability to have fun without being drunk or stoned. May their tribe increase!
For more devotionals like this one, consider Touching the Footprints of Jesus.