Today’s sermon spoke volumes to me. The teacher talked about being alone with God. His theory takes the example of David when he was but a shepherd, alone with God, developing his gifts, his sense of self. The only man in the Bible who was said to have a heart after God.
It was a good sermon that spoke volumes because it confirmed and encouraged my own thoughts as a Millennial Christian doing his best to live a life that’s good in the eyes of God, despite the enormous amount of pressure we face.
The older generations don’t get it. How could they? To be born and lived a majority of your life before the current age of technology…they think we have it good, but we don’t. They look down on us for complaining because they think we have it better, but do we?
I’ll never forget the conversation I had with my boss (mid-fifties) last year, where he opined that we (Millennials) have it good because in his day, he actually had to approach women and ask them out over the phone or in person. Whereas today, we have online dating with so many options.
I told him, it’s because there’s so many options that we are indeed stunted. Think about it. Once upon a time, people were only limited to the communities and the people they knew existed. If someone asked you out, you had a choice between him or one or two others. Now, you have a choice of between dozens if not hundreds.
What this does, is makes a person reluctant to commit until they’ve “found the one”…which in today’s hook-up culture makes them susceptible to sleeping around and decreases their ability to pair-bond.
It’s because we live in an age where the entire world is connected. No longer are most born and raised in a single community with very little contact with outside cultures. People think that this is all a blessing for us Millennials…but is it?
By the time I was 23, I found something that I could do for the rest of my life. Something I’d be content with. Something that would afford me the opportunity to start and raise a family. The opportunity to worship God to the best of my ability while doing that which I love the most, which is writing.
Recently, I told all of this to an older co-worker, in his 60s. And he squinted with mild disappointment. “But still, Rock! You’re young. When I was your age, I was doing all kinds of things, exploring the world, experiencing what else is out there. I mean, this job…It’s what I’m doing now, because I’ve done everything else. It sounds like you’re content.”
I nodded… “That’s right. I am.”
And I confess, it took some strength to hold back from lashing out at this man. I’ve known him for about 8 years and respect him as my elder. So with restraint, I calmly explained:
“I think that’s the problem with our generation. You hear so much about how the birth rates going down, people aren’t getting married, depression is on the rise. People just aren’t happy. And I think it’s because of attitudes like that.
“Don’t get me wrong, if that’s who you are, go for it. But not everyone has the same desires as you do. I think when we impose upon people these expectations that they should go out and see the world, or experience this or that, it makes them sad. 1) it’s not who they are and now they feel like something’s wrong with them, that they’re lacking in some form or fashion. And 2) you’re putting pressure on them to do something they just can’t do. Sometimes they have other obligations, other responsibilities, or more importantly, it’s just not who they are.”