Let me explain. I’m not the pastor’s kid or anything like that; my mother simply has taken me to church on Saturdays ever since I was little. After attending kindergarten in a public school, I was placed in my church’s private school. I stayed in that school for seven years, and then I went back to the public school system. The only religion that I have known is Seventh-Day Adventism, and I chose it the moment I walked up to the altar at the front of the church one Sabbath.
In order to become a Seventh-Day Adventist I had to complete the baptism book. Following that, my pastor made sure I understood the responsibility I was taking on. I did; I was becoming a Seventh-Day Adventist. I could have been like some of my classmates and church friends and not gotten baptized. But even now that I am more aware of other religions and their practices and beliefs, I would still want to be baptized. Being religious in itself has been an experience that has made me the person I am today, by providing some opportunities and taking away others. From sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday I shift my weekly focus to my God. My focus has to be shifted because I need to spend time with God. He has given me six days to do anything I want and he only asks for me to spend one day with him, so it’s not too hard.
Different Seventh-Day Adventists keep Saturday holy in different ways. I refrain from purchasing anything, doing any kind of work or labor (I count washing dishes as labor, but unfortunately, my parents don’t, so I still have to do it) and participating in any kind of competition (academic or other). I won’t attend any dances, movies or go shopping.
As for entertainment, I don’t watch anything on TV unless it is about God or nature. This means no Saturday morning cartoons, only animal programs and Bible movies. Even though I can’t do any of these things, I don’t sleep the day away; instead I attend church. Therefore, on any given Saturday, you will find me at Sabbath School at 9:30 a.m., Worship Service at 11 a.m. and participating in all sorts of things afterwards.
We do really fun things at my church, such as having alternative Halloween parties, singing at nursing homes, holding concerts and putting on plays. The church has programs such as Adventist Youth (AY), which meets right before sundown to close out the Sabbath with songs and Bible verse finds. Sometimes AY takes the youths bowling, ice skating, to concerts or tobogganing. Even with all that my home church does, I get to do even more because my church’s conference has camp, camp meeting, youth congress and a slew of other things. I enjoy my Sabbath; I take time to relax and spend time with my God and my fellow Christians.
I will continue to do this my whole life; it is a part of me. The truth is, I have missed out on a lot of good workshops, college visits, courses and classes, but as much of a rewarding experience as one can gain from attending these events, I have had just as many good experiences by doing things during the week. I have achieved many things and received many awards just like other students, but I have done it all while keeping true to my beliefs.
Brittnei Sherrod is in the 11th grade at Oberlin High School. She is an active member of Interact, Student Council, Academic Challenge and Yearbook. She is also a Ninde Scholar.