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Peer pressure! Peer pressure!

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

Aug. 11, 2021

“Peer pressure! Peer pressure! All the cool kids are doing it!”

I use that line when I’m trying to convince a family member or friend to join me in some adventure, project, outing or shenanigans.

I find most people regard peer pressure negatively. We think about the “say no to drugs” education programs and teen education programs intended to get youth to think independently and not follow crowds.

Sometimes, though, peer pressure can pressure us to do what we should be doing or things that will benefit us.
A few weeks ago, I joined two friends for dinner at an area diner. As we chatted during dinner, both of my friends indicated that they were listening to “The Bible in a Year” podcast featuring Father Mike Schmitz. Produced by Ascension Press, the podcast (downloadable audio program) includes readings from sacred Scripture and reflections about those readings every day for a year, and the podcast takes listeners through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Both friends spoke of how much they were enjoying the program.

These two friends were not the first of my friends to recommend this podcast to me, but they’re the closest friends who have done so. I suddenly felt like I was missing out on something potentially great.

The next Monday, prior to leaving home to commute for work, I added “The Bible in a Year” to the podcast library on my phone. I’ve been starting my day with the series at least a few days each week since. Some mornings, I’ll listen to two or three episodes during my commute. Other days, something in the readings or reflections strikes me in my first episode, and I’ll spend the rest of my commute reflecting on and praying with what struck me.

Thanks to the peer pressure from my friends, I’m starting a lot of my days with the word of God on my mind and in my heart. Thanks to the peer pressure from my friends, I’m starting my day in a more prayerful way.

God has blessed me with outstanding people in my life – family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances who love me, support me and help me grow closer to our Lord. I’m frequently reminded of how important it is to have a community of faith working together to help each other get to heaven.

All the cool kids are doing it.

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