Fishes Swim With the Current - Barouk Almaw

Trying to think different in an environment that doesn’t invite innovation or exceptionality is very tough. Whether it’s at school or a work place, it’s hard to stand against the current and stick out.  


Senior year was one of the toughest years throughout my high school. That was the year I decided to turn against the current and face the stampede that was rushing me into darkness. After a truly legendary time experiencing God, I realized my place in society; my eyes were opened to where I was supposed to be and where I wasn’t. That powerful encounter with God could not have come at a better time, two days before school had started. 


That transition was an awkward moment for my friends and I. It was abrupt and sudden and my friends suddenly no longer knew who I was. The person they knew had went through a complete metamorphosis and they didn’t know what to do about it. 


Transformations are events that shake you up. They give you a new perspective on life, showing you a bird’s eye view of what your life is like, and where you currently stand in the “plan”. Moments like these are rare, never frequent. 


Through out my life, I’ve had a few moments that I call life changing. Sadly, because of inexperience, lack of prayer and sense of purpose, I would lose all that fire inside, and end up confused and dazed, just like my pre-transformed self. But my last legendary “moment”, was too valuable for me to lose. I did not let the world sidetrack and distract me. I was able to keep the fire alive by keeping the connection with God constant and strong. 


Soon, school suddenly seemed appealing. I had changed. I became generous, patient and understanding. I felt extremely satisfied and fulfilled with my life and my heart was full of joy. Yet, the enemy, of course not too far away from good decisions, will try everything in his power to toss you away from the clear view of your destiny. He tried to destroy that excellent signal of connection I had with God. My friends noticing my change suddenly had larger attention spans towards me. I was pushed harder into different things like drugs, clubbing, alcohol, and other small things that didn’t necessarily caress my conscience. These moments are where you will actually make a life changing decision; to listen to the spider sense like feeling that triggers in the heart and soul, telling you not to go, not to give up something much bigger for the enemy, for only a few laughs just to end up like you were before, post transformation, post change. It becomes an ultimatum, two choices so vivid and real staring you at the face. 


My senior year was incredible. I was no longer slacking, no longer fooling around in class. I suddenly had an idea about who I was and who I was not, what was important and what was not. I saw that the crowds I used to hang out with were the wrong ones. I sometimes had fun and enjoyed my time with them, but I had realized that I didn’t have to change myself to fit into their description. This time, it was their turn to try to prove themselves to me. 


This one time, I will never forget: I was sitting in the exam room. The proctor decides to put one of my classmates right next to me. Personally, I had decided to avoid all cheating by sitting in front of the class. Unfortunately, I was seated in the back where anything could happen. So my classmate, an underachiever, winks at me, waiting until I flip the pages to show her my answers. I let out a crooked smile understanding that my next step would shape my conscience. I decided to keep silent. I kept working and the girl kept nagging but I just minded my own test. At an instant, the whole class had turned to faint whispers of “What’s he doing?” and “I can’t believe he’s not showing her.” After a little while, I was done. I checked my answers and handed it over to the teacher. I walked out without looking back yet feeling those flesh-piercing eyes staring at me. The aftermath was grueling; the class had labeled me as a wannabe, most of my friends wanting nothing to do with me. But in my heart, utter peace.  


What I want to say, what I believe everyone should know, is that Jesus has laid his life on the line, sacrificed himself for your salvation, for your eternal life, for your shame and disgrace. You have become a new creation, a new being. You are leaders, salt and light of the earth. We shouldn’t fall weak to the world’s evil prowess. We are people with vast responsibilities, warriors in the Great War. We are people with amazing futures. We should take courage; wear our full armor and fight. Fight not like the helpless fish that gets carried around in the current. Stand your ground and fight against the current for we are the chosen and the esteemed. We will fight drugs, alcohol, pornography addiction and we will triumph over insecurity, confusion, depression and laziness. We the people of God will rise from the chaos that is the world to glorify our creator’s name. Don’t be like the fish. Fight the current. Fight back!