My Greatest Influence

September 30, 2010
By Greg Caraway BRONZE, Fort Worth, Texas
Greg Caraway BRONZE, Fort Worth, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Every Wednesday night, six of my friends and I head to the K-life house, a modest two bedroom house that has been converted into a place for worship. K-life is a local organization that serves to educate and advance Christian fellowship within middle school and high schools kids. The leader of this organization, the resident of the house, and my small group leader is Jason. Jason has served as the first truly positive influence for my spiritual and secular life.

I can honestly say that my life has changed in a positive way, spiritually, because of Jason. During our bible study sessions, Jason analyzes biblical text better than most of my school teachers ever could. While studying the book of Genesis, Jason broke down the opening lines of the Bible and thoroughly explained how they symbolically foreshadow Jesus, the Messiah. It is amazing how clearly and convincingly he related the beginning of the Old Testament to thousands of years later when Jesus came into the world. While some may believe that very religious people contain closed minds, Jason does not. He encourages us regularly to ask challenging and, perhaps, offensive questions and does not judge those that practice different religions. He uses text from the bible to relate to my life in order to point me in the direction that God intends. The influence his weekly fellowship has on me is tremendous. Every week, his insightful lesson leads me to walk away from the barriers of the K-life house into the real world with new realizations about God’s presence in my life.

Not only does Jason influence my life spiritually, but also he continues to teach me the value and importance of life. It is obvious that Jason’s intelligence, that granted him a fully paid academic scholarship to college, could produce a higher paying job, surely more than a salary based entirely off donations. Although his money situation does not sound ideal, and he has to work construction part-time to pay the bills, I have not once heard him complain or seek sympathy. In fact, he is more generous with his money than most that have more money than him. On one occasion, he offered to pay for everyone’s dinner at a local burrito restaurant if we all read the assigned biblical reading. When I eat with him, he refuses to allow me to pay for his meal and tips the waiter or waitress much more than the conventional percentage.

His lifestyle and attitude are contradictory to what I have witnessed from most influential adults. I have interpreted, and in many cases heard, from others that I should seek the highest possible paying job because living in luxury is an enjoyable and satisfying life. Although no one can deny that living luxuriously is enjoyable and provides stability, is it truly satisfying? Can money alone lead to satisfaction? I used to believe so. Perhaps I misinterpreted the commonly heard saying, “To whom much is given, much is expected.” For a long time, I believed that “much expected” was measured by monetary success. However, after witnessing and attempting to absorb Jason’s lifestyle, I have come to interpret this phrase in a different way: “much expected” deals with the positive affects you have on others’ lives while being committed and loving, whatever path you decide to take in life. I thank Jason for my newfound realization that, hopefully, will lead me to a truly and genuinely satisfying life.

After every bible study he gives, every friendly text message he sends, and every invitation to hang out he offers, I realize that through Jason’s sincerity and commitment to his job, he has most definitely affected my life for the better.

The author's comments:
This is one of my essays for my college application process.

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