A local high school is performing Les Miserables this weekend. As that is a favorite at our house, my daughter and I went last night. They did a great job. No, it wasn’t Broadway caliber, but for a group of 16, 17, and 18 year-olds, it was fantastic.
I loved the music and the story, as usual, but most of all I loved watching high school students take on such an enormous challenge. It’s what I love about watching high school sports, too. And seeing high school art pieces. And observing high school leadership in areas of school government or service projects. It’s seeing young people learn to overcome obstacles, to persevere, to become disciplined, to encounter adversity, to be humble in success. To grow up. We are given a glimpse into who God made them to be and how He is shaping them to be it.
Some years, it happens through success, through accolades and awards. Some years, character is forged in the fires of failure, of hard choices, of unfairness. But none of it is wasted.
When it is my own kids (and sometimes their friends), I get the added responsibility of talking through the situations, helping them process their course of action or their feelings, helping them recognize God’s hand in every situation. But in every situation, such as by standing and clapping at the end of the production last night, I get to encourage, to cheer on these young people striving to become adults. And in that, I find great joy.