You have to respect the honesty of the following lyrics from the band Fun. in their hit song “Some Nights.” Not only are they honest, but I believe they are incredibly relevant and true for many young adults that are trying to figure out where they fit in the world and why it all matters.
“Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know…
So this is it? I sold my soul for this?
Washed my hands of God for this?
I miss my mom and dad for this?”
Known as “Millenials,” many young students and adults, ranging roughly from 16-30, are searching for direction, purpose and meaning. Specifically, today’s college graduates are entering a brutal economic setting, where diplomas don’t seem to guarantee a whole lot unless it’s a Master’s degree. The job hunt combined with constant connectivity and information overload has many young people spinning with little long-term vision for life.
The unfortunate alternative for this near-sightedness is simply living for the moment, chasing experiences that bring short doses of excitement. Many resist growing up because they see no grand vision for the rest of life. According to the culture we live in, the best times are when you are young, and once you cross that threshold into “adulthood” you have kissed a full life good bye.
This desire and effort to “stay young” forever is particularly evident in the lyrics of some of the world’s most popular songs right now. Consider Ke$ha’s hit “Die Young”…
“I hear your heart beat to the beat of the drums
Oh what a shame that you came here with someone
So while you’re here in my arms,
Let’s make the most of the night like we’re gonna die young”
Or One Direction’s “Live While We’re Young”…
“Let’s go crazy crazy crazy till we see the sun
I know we only met but let’s pretend it’s love
And never never never stop for anyone
Tonight let’s get some and live while we’re young”
And finally, to return to Fun., the lyrics of “We Are Young”…
Tonight We are young
“So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home tonight”
These three songs are just a few examples of the overwhelming cultural message that fills our popular t.v. shows, movies, and songs. No wonder research shows that the age of adolescence is being pushed back further and further, delaying adulthood often times until the age of thirty. Yikes.
Call me crazy, but I can’t settle for such a small, nearsighted vision. If life is just about your first 30 years then I’m bailing out. I am convinced that many young adults are not content with this small, self-centered vision for life, but they settle for it because they haven’t seen anything better. Some settle for weekend binges, but deep down there’s a passion to make a difference with their life, to even change the world.
The good news is that there is something amazing to look forward to after you’ve graduated college and “lived while you’re young.” Although some Christian circles have dumbed down the message of the Bible to just be a ticket to heaven, more and more followers of Jesus are discovering that the Bible actually casts the best, most compelling vision for life on the earth right now.
The biblical vision gives direction, purpose, and meaning to our lives. It calls us to pay attention to the unique passions and gifts we’ve been given, and it compels us to offer those gifts toward a world-wide movement of love and redemption. This biblical vision offers adventure, risk, and faith in the unseen. It unleashes our imagination, to dream of how redemption might infiltrate every inch of the world we live in. It states that everything we do now for the sake of God and his Kingdom will be noted and rewarded when all of creation is renewed and fully restored.
Tapping into our creativity and discovering our God-given callings beyond adolescence is essential to experiencing the most full life for an entire lifetime. If you haven’t already, I’d consider trading in a small vision for the best one on the planet. You will not be sorry. #LiveFully