January 19, 2011

Young and Purposed

Gordon Brown of the UK recently spoke of a 'global youth epidemic' that could be on the horizon. He quoted the number 81, as in 81 million youths from 18-25 currently without work. While youth without work is certainly a problem, what's worse is youth without any confidence or lack of purpose.

Here's some example's of youth with purpose:

16 Years old: Daniel from the OT of the Bible is handpicked for government service and deported to Babylon. He proceeds to declare God's present and eternal purpose while facing trials, visions, and adventures of all types.

19 Years old: Alexander the Great inherited his kingdom from his deceased dad and proceeded to take over the world.

20 Years old: Inventors of Facebook (Zuckerburg) and Apple (Jobs) open up the computer to the world

10 Years old, 11 years old, etc: How many great musicians were writing music before they could walk?

A culture of low expectations has resulted in a generation of young adults (dubbed children) full of poor self esteem, poor work ethic, and lack of belief to accomplish something noteworthy in life. The youth are looked at with self-pity, with acknowledgment that their time will some day yet come, but not now. Its a period of life, we say, that one must venture through to get to the other side. Ignorance, wonder, and self discovery takes time, or so we think, and should accordingly be figured into the timetable for when they will eventually break out their intellect and make a meaningful contribution to society.

A textbook from 1800 doesn't show a 12 year old learning the abc's, but rather learning trigonometry, compound sentence structures, and in depth world history. A textbook from today's 12th grade classroom shows none of the rigors of times past, which would help explain in large part why 37% of Americans can't even find on their own country on a map.

The challenge needs to be on the youth to become the leaders of today, not the leaders of tomorrow. College needs to be a time of self-discovery, but also a time of accomplishment as opposed to the four years of washed out party time leading to a degree in hospitality as happens today. Likewise, in the church the youth are the church of today--not the church of tomorrow and need to be involved in challenging roles to push them further and faster than they would normally push themselves.

Sure it may not be completely their fault that the youth don't have a job, but they can at least attempt to make something of their life instead of rioting or going to the government for a handout. Life is a gift and needs to be valued.

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