02 Sep This generation!!!
Every generation is known by its behavior. Responding to the Pharisees and experts in the law Jesus said, “To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children who sit in the marketplace and call to one another, and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’” (Matthew 11.16,17, NASB). His generation was known for finding fault with others. When John came neither eating nor drinking, they said he had a demon, when Jesus came eating and drinking, they said he was a glutton and a drunkard.
What is our generation like? If we need to find out one big trait that identifies majority of the people we find around what it would be? My vote goes to self- obsession. This generation unlike many generations in the past is dominated by the voice of the youth. The voice of the old and the grey haired is often rational, soaked with experience. The voice of the youth is often emotional, filled with passion.
This generation’s youth, often called as the Millennials in the popular media and is typically 18- 34 years, is gradually departing from the traditional institutions like politics, religion and culture. Though this is based on a study done by the American think tank Pew Research Center, this holds good to every other country including ours as well.
The TIMES carried a feature in one of their 2012 editions on the Millennials and titled it ‘The Me MeMe Generation”. It literally rips apart the Millennials as being lazy, narcissistic, spoiled by participation trophies, fame- obsessed and convinced of their greatness. Shocking still, they have the numbers to back that up. It isn’t an exaggeration when I say that India is not far behind. You’d be mistaken that these are rich-kid problems. Research indicates that poor millennials have even higher rates of narcissism, materialism and technology addiction.
A big thing that drives this generation is independence. Deepika Padukone’s video ‘My Choice’ is just another millennial declaring that they’ve got the freedom to choose whatever they want to. But do they? Are we independent?
Careful observation of the creation around us will give us the insight that we are not created to be independent. We are created to be interdependent. Forms of life depend on other forms of life for sustenance. There is an ecological balance that if disturbed could turn catastrophic to life on earth.
Independence was never the idea, it was always interdependence.
But the dream of independence is as old as Eve herself. Wasn’t that the dream that the serpent sold to her when it said, “you will be like God” – a thought of being a god to oneself independent from the authority of the Almighty! It is an age old dream that the devil is selling and this generation is purchasing it with their souls only to find out they are ripped off.
In reality, there is nothing that is your independent choice. Your choice is always a result of choices others make. Let’s build a track backwards – suppose, you choose to wake up at 10.00am in the morning; that choice could be based on your choice to sleep at 3.00am; that choice could be based on your choice to spend time with a friend chatting about the evils in the world; that choice is ultimately because your friend chose to stay up with you. Had he chosen to sleep at 12.00am, would you still get up at 10.00am?
If you go backtracking like this with any scenario you have in mind, eventually you will end up with this dialogue, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1.26, NASB). Why would it end there? Because that is when God chose to create you! Eventually, all choices that we have are based on that one choice God made. Therefore, it is up to you to either honor His choice or dishonor His choice.
You can imagine that you are the wheel and there is no movement without you or you can imagine that you are a spoke in the wheel and set aside your millennial mentality and value the interdependence we have in Christ.
Jesus lived in a generation of fault finders, but he never found faulty even in the faulty. He was an aberration that shook the generation by the scruff of its neck. He was that light that ripped apart the darkness. He was the oak in the field of thorns. We need not be what this generation is defined as – self-obsessed – we can be that aberration that shakes this generation, we can be the light that rips apart darkness and we can be oaks in the field of thorns, for our LORD knows how to do it.
The author and his wife Archana live in Chennai. Pradeep works as Insights Director at IMRB International and actively involved in UESI ministry since 1997. He blogs at http:// thesprintingmindblogspot.in/