Monday, October 28, 2013

Food for thought on a Monday in October

We're happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
It's miserable and magical.
Oh, yeah

Now I might not be quite twenty-two, but I can totally relate to Taylor Swift here.  Whatever your opinion of her, she expresses our silly, girlish emotions in such an honest way.
Oh the 20’s – a decade to enjoy, we’re told, to make mistakes, to live as free spirits!  We’ve got so much going for us! Ok, well maybe one thing: our youth.  In all honesty, that doesn’t feel like enough, because all us twenty-somethings, well, we’re searching and longing.  
If we’re lucky, we’re also struggling to heal from past hurts. 
If we are less fortunate, we’re engaged in lifestyles from which we will need a lot of healing later on in life.
Overall, life for the typical twenty-something is messy and honestly, it’s often more miserable than magical and more lonely and confusing than happy and free.  And, to top it all off, we’re expected to have it all together.  Take the attitude towards college: go and explore your interests, but make sure to graduate with a lucrative degree.  Or what we modern women now get fed:  Do anything you want – just make sure you are successful – elsewise you are a disgrace to the women who fought for your rights in years past.
The message for our generation is:  Be your own person, be free, and have fun!  Just make sure that whatever you do fits into this box labeled acceptable by modern society.  But the truth is that these current societal expectations do not truly satisfy, and as a consequence our generation is really struggling – struggling with depression, with abortion, with anxiety, with pornography.
I don’t have the statistics but they shouldn’t be too hard to find online.
Christianity, having a personal relationship with Jesus, striving to follow Him and purify our desires, now that, is countercultural.

We Christians dare to believe that our own selfish desires won’t actually satisfy.  We dare to see beauty in a world tainted with sin and darkness.  We dare extend kindness in a world marked by cynicism. We believe our suffering can bring us closer to joy in Christ. We above all dare to hope and believe in Jesus’s promise of love and mercy. 
Don't get me wrong... this whole faith thing?  It ain’t easy.  Heck, it’s pretty difficult and downright scary, but through the confusion and the many trials and tribulations of this wonderful decade (and I only say that with a little bit of sarcasm, because it actually is quite wonderful), faith in God’s love and his goodness… well that’s what gets me through.
And our generation could definitely use God.  We need freedom from unrealistic how society is telling us to live.  We need the grace to be able to cultivate genuine friendships that will lead us to the Source of Life and Love – not materialism, jealousy, and pride.  We need unconditional love and the freedom to be vulnerable with each other.  We need God’s forgiveness when we make mistakes.  Us twenty-somethings?  We above all need Jesus.

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