Teenagers today struggle with stress from school, college applications, friends, and just the future in general. When stress gets to you, sometimes you find relief in unexpected places. This happened to me when I was stressed last week. I was praying to find some sort of inspiration to keep me motivated through my last year of high school when it happened. Billy Joel. Now I’ve been a huge Billy Joel fan for a while, so I was shocked that I had never heard this song before. But it was definitely an answer to my prayers. When I first heard “Vienna” by Billy Joel, it was like God was speaking directly to me.
The words I’m about to describe to you spoke directly to every fear and stress I’ve had over the past year and I hope you find similar motivation in them:
- “Slow down, you crazy child/ You’re so ambitious for a juvenile/ But then if you’re so smart, then tell me why are you still so afraid?” This line reminds me of Matthew 8:26, when Christ calmed the storms around the apostles and asked them why they were afraid. God has control over everything around us and doesn’t let anything happen to us that won’t ultimately be for our benefit. If we believe this, why should we fear?
- “Where’s the fire, what’s the hurry about? You better cool it off before you burn it out/ You’ve got so much to do/ And only so many hours in a day” In the Doctrine and Covenants, we are warned not to run faster or labor more than we have strength. We can only do so much right now. We have so much to enjoy at this point in our lives, we shouldn’t ruin it by living in the future. These are going to be the good old days.
- “When will you realize, Vienna waits for you?” Billy Joel chose Vienna because when he first visited the area, he discovered that it was a place that the elderly found rest in serving their fellow men. Likewise, if we come unto Christ, we will be able to enter into the rest of God (Jacob 1:7). While our trials might seem hard right now, we know our goal and exactly how to get there. We find Vienna by living a Christlike life.
- “Slow down, you’re doing fine/ You can’t be everything you want to be/ Before your time” Neil A Maxwell said, “Faith in God includes faith in his timing.” We are not capable of perfection in this lifetime, so is it any surprise that we have flaws as teenagers? Even as we get older we will find things we want to improve or things we want to do with our lives, but we can’t do it all. It is always good to strive for perfection, but we shouldn’t expect it of ourselves immediately.
- “You’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need” We become too focused on college and GPAs and future marriages that we may forget the little things that we need. None of the other things can be accomplished without a foundation of daily scripture study, prayer, etc.
I encourage everyone to listen to this song, or find something else that speaks to them, to help them put life in perspective and find peace and happiness today.
Have you found inspiration in any unexpected places?