Pizza face philosophy

The year was 1988 and I was an insecure pizza faced teenager desperate to find some kind of meaning in my life.

Jake Schellenberg


The year was 1988 and I was an insecure pizza-faced teenager desperate to find some kind of meaning in my life.

I was an athlete, came from a pretty good family and never had to go hungry so I didn’t have much to complain about. Nonetheless, my soul seemed to complain inside of me all the time. Questions like, ‘What am I here for?’, ‘Is God real?’, ‘If God is real how in the world could he make such bad things happen to people?’ (and of course, ‘I wonder what’s for supper?’) swirled around my brain and made me discontented with my world.

This feeling was the kind that could not be quenched with a shot of youthful adrenalin, a few trophies on my shelf, or even being part of the best basketball team. Isn’t it amazing how our minds work?

We want what we don’t have, wish for what ‘they’ have and don’t realize what is right in front of us. Teenage Jake searched like crazy to find some sense of inner wholeness that would provide a reason for his existence.

Teenage Jake thought he was a bad person that wasn’t worth very much, but God showed him a different reality, and that new reality brought about a changed perspective.

This change affected the way I saw myself, and questions I asked. I started to learn the meaning of, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22: 37, 39).

Teenage Jake started a journey I still live today; a journey to love God and do my best to make my life about others and not myself.

My ‘uncontrollable discontent’ was solved when I started to understand that being self-serving doesn’t bring real joy, but serving others is a blast! Here’s the biggest kicker, this change of perspective isn’t about being perfect, it’s actually about the realization that we are not.

We really need help. Take time to bring joy to your heart and the Lord’s. Go meet a need that you see in front of you today.

Jake Schellenberg is executive director of Central Alberta Youth Unlimited/YFC.