Comfortable perched on the sofa; Betty and Joan were quietly talking things over. The holidays were passed, but the memories of those days of laughter and song and well-wishing lived on in the minds of these two girls. And you know how girls will do—rehash the whole thing after it’s over, even down to the fine points of “he said to her”, and “she said to me”. Betty and Joan’s conversation had followed this same ordinary pattern, since they were ordinary girls.
But they were suddenly interrupted by the unannounced entrance of big, strong, Navy Veteran, Dan. Dan had seen the world. He had seen life and the girls felt that their experiences were really very petty and trivial in comparison with the experiences of their brother, Dan. Dan could talk of sinking ships, of fighting, even of killing! But Dan could talk of more than that. And it was for that reason that he now wore that grim, determined look on his face. He wanted to talk—talk about something that was burning in his heart.
He sank heavily into the nearest chair and without waiting for an invitation to speak his mind, he burst out: “What’s wrong with our Young People anyway! Talk about religion? No! Talk nonsense, that’s all! Nonsense! Silly jokes, laugh and giggle! That’s all they care to do! Bah!” And he began to pace the floor.
“What’s eating you, Dan?” asked Betty, sympathetically.
“I’ve been talking with Tom and Fred and the other boys. You know, just sort of talking things over, about the nice party we had in church and so on”. He continued to walk to and fro in the room as he added bitterly, “Nice party all right. Nice Christmas party”—with the accent on the first syllable—when a group of Protestant Reformed Young People pull up their noses at singing, “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful”, but can gather round with plenty of enthusiasm to sing “Roll out the Barrel”.
“Doesn’t it mean anything to us? I mean our religion! Is Christ just someone we are forced to read or study or think about once in a while, but who really has nothing to do with the joys and pleasures of our lives? Is He just someone who bores us and with whom we would like to have as little to do as possible? Doesn’t Christ live in the hearts of our Young People? Don’t they ever feel like rejoicing in Him? Like singing His praises? Like shouting Hallelujah?”
Dear Junior, do you understand Dan’s attitude? Have you ever felt the same way about your own Young People’s meetings? Have you ever felt that way about yourself?
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone,
Dare to have a purpose firm,
Dare to make it known.
That means in the midst of the world. But it also means in the midst of the church!