Something crazy is happening around us. Cynicism is high, anxiety is tremendous and we’re questioning our existence. We, a new generation, are in the midst of a tremendous identity crisis.
For moral guidance, we have turned to Tiger Woods, and, when it comes out that he was human all along, we feel abandoned and betrayed. For spiritual advice, we turn to Joel Osteen, who’s do-do-do mentality to obtain the perfect possession of health and wealth. For emotional support, we log into chat rooms and social networking sites, to have an indirect conversation with someone who cannot sense the ways in which we are directly feeling.
We, a new generation, is deeply struggling with our identity. When so often our communal needs are met through things like Facebook, Online Dating sites and texting (these things are not bad, but, they can be used as a way of hiding), we are no longer known by other human beings. Being known by human beings is utterly foundation for our own existence. It is when we lose our lives to others, that we being to find our own. Because, for some of us, we fall in love with the idea of the person that we are talking to, not, who they actually are. So, for us to invest ourselves, in the idea of something, when it does not reciprocate the love we desire, we feel empty.
If you take one second to listen to my generation, we are screaming to be heard. While previous generations built there empires on a can do attitude and efficiency, they failed to recognize the deep desires of their own hearts. This is easily recognizable when the values of the Church have been compromised by things like nationalism, the American Dream and the glamorous church. The Church actually made an attempt to out sexy the world, with their movie theater churches, there “heavier” worship and there BMW stadium seating in their churches, and, in return, compromised the heart of what is truly true, the heart of Jesus.
While, this may seem like a hostile critique, my generation could be headed on a different destructive path. For my own generation, we are digging and we are seeking, because, we have been burned out by this can do attitude. We are exhausted and worn out. And, instead of taking a new route, we have instead turned to cynicism and sarcasm. Our hearts are trying to go to the right place, however, our words are equally damaging because we don’t say what we mean, or, we do and its empty because of the delivery.
Soren Kierkegaard, I believe, gets it right when he says “A man who as a physical being is always turned toward the outside, thinking that his happiness lies outside him, finally turns inward and discovers that the source is within him.”
If we ascribe to be the type of Church that we need to be, then we need to look within to discover the happiness within. And, out of this happiness, so our words and actions must reflect it. We need to be seeking within our own existence, find the damage and beauty within us and bring it forward to our community.
We need the types of people who can provoke us into our own humanity. People, who are in touch within their own existence and can bring forth the thoughts and questions of the hearts, so that we may find the necessary healing and restoration our souls crave. Without this, we will continue down our trend of cynicism and sarcasm, producing nothing more than a beautiful answer wrapped up in grotesque clothing.
As Kierkegaard says “Face the facts of being what you are, for that is what changes what you are.”
Who are we? And, what are we willing to become?