The bad news started Brycen wondering if his life was worth living.
“What? Levi Peterson? Are you sure?”
Brycen stared unbelievingly at his friend, Jackson, who had just come skateboarding furiously to his house.
“I couldn’t believe it either, but my grandmother lives right next door to his family and she saw the ambulance and everything.”
“But he was so popular, even class president . . . he seemed to have it all together.”
After discussing the news for a time, Jackson took off again on his skateboard, and Brycen walked slowly into the house. His father stopped him on his way through the living room.
“Hey, why so glum? Lose your best friend?”
“No, I hardly knew him.”
“What are you talking about?”
“A real popular kid at school committed suicide today. It’s hard to understand.”
Brycen’s father started to reply, but the phone rang. He answered it and started talking about construction business with somebody. Brycen sighed and headed up to his room. He picked up his pen and the journal where he wrote his thoughts:
“Yesterday I’d have given anything to have been Levi Peterson. Today he killed himself. If he didn’t have anything to live for, what about me? Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth going on. My dad doesn’t have time for me. My stepmother never has liked me. I haven’t seen my mom in three years. I’m not popular. My grades aren’t that great. I never have any money, and don’t even have a skateboard. What’s the use?”
He paused and choked back a sob that came from deep down inside before writing again:
“Samuel told me just yesterday that God is real and that He loves everyone. Who is he kidding? If God loves me, why is my life so worthless? I think Mr. McNeil was probably right. When he showed us that big evolution chart, he laughed and said something about how crazy it was to think that man just appeared on the earth like it says in the Bible. When I’m gone that’ll be the end of another meaningless life.”
Brycen threw his pen at the wall in frustration. The next morning he arrived at school late. Then he discovered he’d forgotten his history paper and his lunch. As he sat on the lawn outside the cafeteria, Samuel came by.
“What are you doing out here, Brycen?”
“What’s it to you? I forgot my lunch and I’m just having a bad day.”
Samuel offered to loan Brycen some money for lunch. So the two went in and stood in line at the hot lunch counter.
“Hey, something’s really bothering you, Brycen. Is it the suicide?”
“Well, that is what started it. But it’s more than that. All last night I was thinking about doing the same thing.”
“Don’t even talk like that, Brycen! Trust me, that’s the most stupid move you could make!”
“Look, I’m just a nobody going nowhere fast. Why suffer?”
“Because Somebody has a plan for your life, that’s why.”
“Spare me the preaching, Okay? Do you really, I mean really, believe that stuff?”
“You know I do, and you know I have good reason to.”
The two sat down at a table by themselves as Samuel continued.
“My life was headed downhill fast before Jesus saved me. You remember the trouble I was in. Now look at me. Do you think I did this myself? Don’t kid yourself, there’s no way! Let me tell you what the minister said in the meeting last night after we all heard about Levi. He was at the house after it happened. He read the note. It said, ‘I have everything I want, but I have nothing.’ He preached about how the Christian can have nothing in this world and still be rich because of what God has done for him.”
“God has done nothin’ for me, Samuel! Nothing!”
“You haven’t given Him a chance! You think you’re a piece of junk. But God created you in His image, Brycen. That means a lot! He wants you and me to be happy here, and then be with Him forever. You can say what you want, but I know that’s real! I have a purpose for living now. I am happy, I mean a special kind of happy. God said He would come and live in my heart and He has! I’m not making this all up. But you have to get saved to experience it. Why don’t you just give it a try, Brycen?”
Brycen paused a long time before answering. “Well I . . . I guess I’ve got nothing to lose. And if it’s as real as you say, then I guess I’d be a fool for not trying.”
Samuel grinned and said, “Do it! You’ll be amazed just like I was! You’ll find out how important to God you really are!”