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Some days I get up in the morning wondering why I am awake when even the birds know it’s too early. We climb onto a bus, lug three tons of gear into a school, and set up a wall of production and sound equipment big enough to make even Kanye West feel like a superstar. But why?

Everyone knows that high school can be the hardest years of your life. So much happens in these four years that can easily define a person. As a teenager sometimes you are just doing what you can to keep your head above the water. Some students come to school to get away from the chaos that is in their home, and some seek refuge at home to hide from the ridicule they receive at school, and some ultimately are unable find peace anywhere. Amidst the whirlwind that is their life, the youth of today have to keep up a positive front because in our culture today more then ever, “image is everything”. In order hide the brokenness that is within, they have built a facade made of trends, music, fashion, parties, and all sorts of other things that don’t really grab a hold of the human heart. To be a teenager is to be superficial.

Instead of setting up lights, speakers, projectors, and band gear, we honestly might as well be setting up a wrecking ball. One-by-one,as our team members step on stage and shares from their life stories, you can watch the bricks fall. As we talk about our darkest moments, share our biggest secrets, and become vulnerable in front of the multitudes, the facade begins to break.

It grieves me to hear a student share about a lifestyle of addiction that was developed after experiencing sexual abuse from a family friend, or a failed suicide attempt caused by the dark side of bullying or a destructive family. But this is what we see when the wall begins to break down. When the walls are down, the idea of change becomes realistic to them. Every single day I get to look into the eyes of students and give them hope – real hope. With sincere gratitude and tears running down their faces, I have the privilege to hear things like, “today meant the world to me,” or “this honestly changed my life.” As we begin to listen to their stories and hear about their struggles, we can see the root of inspiration; of hope and purpose growing through the rubble.

There is a generation of youth who are yearning for hope and hungry for change. As we wake up at ungodly hours, lug our gear, and raise our wall of lights, I know it is all a means to an end – we build these walls, to break down theirs. 

– Johnny, Road Team Leader


Author: LiveDifferent

Date: May 31st, 2012