Gen Y gets pulled and rocked in so many directions. It’s a rough sea to be out sailing in.
We often talk about importance of returning to the heart of God – what is God’s purpose in my life. We often ask: “What is God’s heart for me, for others and the rest of the world?”. As we focus on aligning ourselves with God’s heart, let us also align with the heartbeat of God – neither going too fast or too slow, but keeping in beat, keeping in step.
The 3 lies are lies that I’ve believed that have caused me to ultimately to be moving out of sync with the one who is working out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, who is bringing all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, in his perfect timing.
1st lie: Life is all about the good times and the hard times are bad
We’ve bought into the lie that life must go from good to better to best, that life should be lived prancing from one mountain top to another. At least that’s what I’ve found myself believing. And so when I’ve encountered the valleys, and the tough times, I found myself becoming disillusioned and depressed. I despised the suffering, and the down times. I despised the quiet seasons, and expended my energy being depressed about a difficult or seemingly pointless situation.
Life is a journey of mountain highs and valley lows and the ups are made so much better for the existence of the downs. And it is the downs where much of the learning seems to take place. Growth happens without us knowing in the valleys, and it happens in an accelerated manner. I think back to all the hardest times in my life and they were, in hindsight, times of spectacular growth.
Valleys are by nature difficult to see up and out of. Both in physical geographic terms but also in our life journeys. They are places that force us to not understand but to lean and to trust. Inevitably they will pass. Inside the moment it can be hard to have right perspective. But we should embrace the difficult, to be truly in it and know that it is for our good. For when it hurts, we are growing. When it appears as if not much is going on, the gardener is still busy at work. The Lord is our Shepherd.
I believe he orchestrates for us the worst of times, holds our hands through them to teach us lessons that could be learnt no other way, and his perfect timing, carries us up and out.
2nd lie: Life is about arriving at a destination
We have bought the lie that life is about arriving at something. Attaining something. Completing something. Arriving at a destination. Finishing that degree, or getting that job or getting that house.
We must become a people who are as concerned with the journey than the destination. I’ve heard it put this way – destiny is about the journey not the endpoint. And so it must be with this generation. As an aside – we are not to cease reflection and learning from the past, or dreaming and envisioning or being ambitious. But too often our energy can be channelled in the wrong way when it comes to the past or future.
3rd lie: That we must do and achieve great things now
Faced with the constant barrage of instant fame/wealth of young people from media and social media, our natural inclinations are to compare and to set for ourselves unrealistic expectations to match and do what is actually the exception. Rarely will God allow us to do great things in 20’s or maybe even 30’s. And it is his mercy. A tower that gets too high will ultimately topple without the right depth and breadth of foundation.
It is said: “your 20’s are for learning and your 30’s are for earning”. This is true in the secular sphere but also in the spiritual spheres (actually I don’t believe there should be any dichotomy of spheres). To shift the concept a little – God is more concerned with who we are, than what we do. Without the solid foundation of BEING and KNOWING, our DOING is exhausting and becomes a building that grows ever taller sitting on weak and unsupportive foundations. Inevitably, it will one day fall.
Many great men in the bible did not enter into their God ordained ministries in their 20’s. Many of them experienced deserts, imprisonment, and trials. But these were the plan of God to develop character and depth of being. Now, at least for me, I feel is a time of learning, and growing deep and broad roots – in the word and in prayer in my spirituality, and in learning and making mistakes in business. The fruit will come of it’s own accord, when the gardener sees fit for that to happen.
So life becomes these beautiful cycles of life and death and death and life, cycles of hardship and spaciousness. As there are seasons in nature, there are seasons in life. So life becomes real and valuable and precious in the present moment. There is value in every second and every day. And we become a people who value and treasure and utilize the present rather than being caught up in the past which cannot change or engage in excessive wishful thinking about an unrealistic future.
And we shall see a generation more alive than any other this world has seen. Truly present in the now. A generation with authenticity and depth of character. He leads us well, better than we follow and better than we know. The time is now. And the task is to be.
The Lord is my shepherd.