Troy and Gabriella are seniors! For those who have enjoyed the high drama of this cute couples' ups and downs since the original High School Musical launched the HSM juggernaut back in 2006, HSM 3: Senior Year has the ring of the end of an era. Can't these two hotties stay in high school forever? Still hope springs eternal, as does Disney's resourcefulness when it has a roaring success on its hand, so don't despair…perhaps a way will be found to carry on after graduation rolls around.
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens once again play the clique-crossing pair—sports jock and brainiac. Crazy about music and each other, this time we watch them stage a high-energy high school musical production that zeros in on the seniors' hopes and fears about the unknown future that awaits every senior launching out into a new world.
Will their relationship survive the long distance trauma of separate colleges? Will one of them meet someone new? Will they be able to live up to their hopes and dreams? Or crash and burn under the weight of the new freedoms and responsibilities that wait around the corner?
The future often freaks us out. Whether it's some big decision looming over us like where to go to college or relational turmoil that's heading down a road we're uncomfortable traveling, anxiety, apprehension and angst can dog us like a bad burrito. What to do?
If you're a Jesus follower, God's Word holds a multitude of promises to cling to in the midst of an uncertain future. Because your hope is in Him, your ultimate future is already determined - to be with Him in heaven! You may face uncertain or difficult times along the way, but you have God's promise to lean on that says,
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6).
Or check out what the Psalmist says,
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold" (Ps. 18:2.)
One of the best ways to keep focused on God is to run to Him in prayer whenever you feel stressors pressing in on you. Another thing that can help in tough times is to memorize some key Bible verses that speak directly to the whole area of feeling stressed out. Check out this link to find some verses to help you whenever you feel anxiety overwhelming you. Pick out one or two key verses that really speak to you about God's promises and memorized them.
Then when anxiety comes crashing in, mentally and emotionally lift your anxiety up to God and give it to Him. Ask for His help and His comfort. As Jesus followers, learning to lean on God and cling to Him is a road that takes a lifetime, but He is always there to hear our prayers and surround us with His presence.
But what about your friends who don't know Jesus? How can you help them face a stressful, uncertain future? By introducing them to your friend and comforter—Jesus. So as you talk about HSM 3 with your friends, amp up the conversation and turn the talk to spiritual things. Here are few ideas to get you started:
• Talk with your friends about what kinds of things each of you fears about the future. What punches your buttons and sends you spinning? Big decisions? Relationship drama? Money woes? • Do you feel like you live in an uncertain world? What is your source of stability? Family? Friends? Faith? Finances? • Ask your friends how they deal with anxiety when they're stressed about the future? Listen, then share honestly how God is a source of strength and peace for you when you're stressed. • Have you experienced the drama of a long-term relationship break-up? Whether it's something like your parents' divorce or a romantic smash-up, it hurts when people we care about are no longer in our day-to-day lives. Share God's promise to "never leave us or forsake us" is real in your life.
Try using HSM 3 as a vehicle to talk to your friends about the best long-term relationship of all. When you know the One who holds the future, the future's not as overwhelming!