You’re Not Just Young
On June 6, 2021, at age 20, professional Filipino golfer Yuka Saso won the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open in a playoff against Nasa Hataoka. Considered as one of the two youngest people to win the tournament, she is the first Filipina golfer to win a major title in that field. In an interview with ABS-CBN’s Camille B. Naredo, she encourages others to play golf because of their “love [of] the sport”, and “not because they see [her] as an inspirational figure”. On February 24, 2021, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, at age 31, received the U.S. Department of State selection award as one of the 12 global anti-corruption champions in a government. The said mayor was the youngest to ever serve Pasig, but his efforts to bring a more transparent and proactive government to the citizens of the city arguably set a high standard for more seasoned public officials all over the country. In an interview with celebrity vlogger Alex Gonzaga, the mayor said that what drove him to public service is that he saw it as an avenue to introduce change. Now, these two young people clearly have something big to say.
Experience Alone equals Impact?
In a society that follows the Principle of Seniority, we always think that rising and young leaders can do less and have to watch and learn from their seniors every time a difficult role is afoot. “Madami ka pang kakaining bigas” has been the excuse of many, and sometimes even said with a little shade of arrogance. No wonder leadership roles are entrusted to people more senior than others, and even the opportunity to lead as the Chief Executive of the country has a very high age requirement (at least 40 years). Young people are often asked to step aside, keep their mouths shut, and let their seniors do the thinking and the leading because we are at a disadvantage when it comes to experiences, thus allegedly could not create an impact. But the truth of the matter is that impact does not come from experiences alone, and more often than not a fresh idea from the mind of someone young, new and committed has proven to be the tiny pebble that caused the lake-water to ripple.
Where the Real Battle Is
As exciting as it is to join the country’s politics or compete in a sports tournament, the real battle is neither in these two but in the daily spiritual lives of a Christian with the Devil as the real enemy who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10).
Young David, before becoming one of the greatest kings to rule over Israel, was also the youngest of Jesse’s four sons when the Philistines assembled to wage war against God’s people, then led by Saul (1 Samuel 17:14). Due to this, while his three elder brothers followed Saul to war, David was left to run between Saul and tending to his father’s sheep (v. 15). One early morning, on an errand to bring food to his brothers at their camps, he saw and heard the mighty Goliath of the Philistine army defying the people of God who are terrified of the enemy. Overcome with great hurt upon hearing that God and His people were being mocked, he asked the soldiers to tell him who the defier was (v. 26). When Eliab, his own eldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at David and even accused him of leaving his tasks at home and having a cruel heart (v. 28). Even when he was finally allowed to speak to Saul and tell the latter about his plan to fight Goliath, Saul replied that he is “only a young man and is not able to fight” the more experienced warrior(v. 33). After David has finally convinced Saul that he can do it, Saul, in an effort to help David, tried to dress the latter for battle with armor which David took off “because he was not used to them” (v. 38) And we all know the events that followed – David could have used a water gun instead of his sling and some stones and still God would have delivered Goliath into His own hands. David, in full knowledge and confidence that his God does not save by the spear and the sword (v. 47) but by grace through the faith of His people, bravely declared His power and victory (v.46) in that battlefield. Now if that is not faith, then I have no idea what is.
The Young Godly Leader Starter-Pack
PSALMistas, the battle in the spiritual realm is real and is directly affecting our daily physical battles, but it’s also a battle already won by our great and mighty God. As young as we are, we have a Lord and a Father whose superiority and sovereignty is above all things past, present, and future. So gear up and lead amidst discouragements from circumstances and other people, not with armors and swords that can be broken, but with a kind of leadership that is not looked down upon because of age but sets an example for the believers in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)