"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim 4:12)
It was a seemingly ordinary day of canvassing in Denver, CO. We were marching down a sidewalk as Ashley and I were playing in the band. Suddenly a small white car slowed down as it passed by us. Inside was a young man around the age of 17 and a young lady in the passenger seat. As they passed by the band, the young man leaned toward the band and yelled “Mmm-BOP-BOP!” then kept going.
I was stunned, momentarily hitting wrong keys on my saxophone from sheer amazement. The last time NAPS was at Denver, CO was about 2 years ago where that young man would’ve seen the “Mmm-BOP-BOP” skit at a school or Juvenile Detention Center Presentation. The thought that just 10 minutes of a skit had infiltrated the pliable mind of that young man and has lasted until now is staggering. Imagine the number of decisions that young man has come across since that time, and with each one having this phrase reverberating in his mind; “In life there are leaders and followers; which one will you be?”
Never underestimate the power of your influence. Character is measured, not necessarily when the stakes are high, but when it doesn’t seem to matter. Every “mediocre” encounter you have with someone today has the power to create the same kind of impact as these NAPS skits have. Don’t wait until the ‘stage is set’ for you to make an impact. The power to completely alter someone’s life, for better or for worse, is not only at the tip of your tongue, but your fingers, facial expressions, and feet. Use it wisely. Someone's life may very well depend on it.
Joshual Onyango is currently a first year medical student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.