I am a twenty-something. Psychologists are wanting to make a “new stage” (life stage) for me. Society is wanting to redefine what it means for me to be a person in my twenties.
Many people in my age bracket are not deciding on a life focus, life mate, or life purpose. We are known for being floaters and nomads.
The problem with this “phenomenon” is that life comes to us just once. Once this decade of life is passed, it can’t be reclaimed.
Two of my friends (who are in their twenties) posted thoughts that, though not directly about this issue, have bearing on the issue:
- Matt McMorris posted an article entitled “Time Flies”. In the post, he challenges us to make the most of today for Jesus.
- Trent Cornwell posted this tweet recently: “Sometimes I hide from today’s work by dreaming about tomorrow’s accomplishments. Then I find today’s work follows me into tomorrow & chases away the potential they day held.”
Let me echo what my friends have said. We tend to not make the most of today. We tend to shrug the responsibilities of today in hopes for something better.
We like to have the easy route.
The temptation for us young guys is to chase every new opportunity and anything that promises new thrills or a unique way. We tend to think that our current responsibilities are too hard or demanding, and we need to find something that is easier.
When we chase after everything new, we risk spending a decade or more of our lives chasing peripherals rather than doing what counts.
We should pray for discernment in our lives.
We need the ability to see beyond today for the purpose of understanding the results of today’s actions, but we cannot overlook the fact that today’s actions have bearing on tomorrow.
We should ask God to help us do something today that is eternal. We must seek His strength to accomplish His will today.
We should pray, Lord, please help me today to do what is eternal in nature. Help me to sift through the expedient for the long-term. Help me not to chase trends. Help me to take actions today that will invest in eternity.
That is what we as Christian “twenty-somethings” should pray.
But what about our culture? What about other people in their 20s? What can we do to help give purpose and meaning to those that we come in contact with who are in our age bracket? Please comment below.
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Great post and insight. We are told that the vast majority of our generation desire to make an impact on soceity. We have been taught to dream but left how to make action plans on our own.
As a student ministries pastor, what do you find effective in helping other twenty-somethings know how to put those dreams into action?
Good question. That is something I should think more about and would enjoy reading your blog because it helps me in this area. We have a small training center at our church for missions and the will of God is a common source of discussion. They have great and big dreams. I guess I start with helping them identify what they are working on that does not help them get to where they are going. Then help them see what is a major part of their future life that is not even a small part of their current life. Example: If they want to be a church planter missionary (we have several of these) then are you actively discipling people.
I once had a teenager tell me he wanted to be an nba player. I had never seen the kid play basketball. I had no idea he even aspired to this. He was set on playing in the NBA. I told him let’s go buy a basketball. This is basically what I do with whatever they say.
That’s a great practice.
“I guess I start with helping them identify what they are working on that does not help them get to where they are going. Then help them see what is a major part of their future life that is not even a small part of their current life.”
I think that looking for the easy route is a huge issue and also looking for the most recognition quickly. Young leaders want to see results from their leadership and they often measure results through recognition. “If I am well-known” or “well-liked” then I must be effective.
If you look at most leaders throughout Scripture, popularity wasn’t what made them successful. In fact, in many cases, it was their infamy that was more well known. They were enemies of the state and completely counter-cultural.
Thanks for the great post, Mark!
Yes, so true. If true success is faithfulness to God and His will, then we will often be led down paths that go against the flow of culture.
I think we aren’t very good farmers. Farming takes work and sacrifice.
In our ministries, the results of “the harvest” are in the Lord’s hands. We should faithfully “sow the seed” today. If God gives us a large “crop” or a small one, we should still remain faithful.
Our generation (me included) just doesn’t like the work now, but wait for results part of serving the Lord.
Thanks for chiming in!
I love this, Mark. Many young adults have great “dreams” for the future but they aren’t doing anything today that will get them there. It’s important to be fully present “today”. Good stuff.