Have you noticed that people don’t start life until very late these days? By the time their grandparents were their age that earlier generation had built a career, raised children, taken responsible roles in church and community and gained maturity from each of those ventures.
Today, however, adults are still locked into the insecurities of youth: uncertain in themselves and non-starters in the journey of life. People today are delaying life, in the hope they can get enough momentum to have a go!
While there have always been people who struggle in life, it is now as if whole generations have fallen into that pattern. They fill their days, but never seem to move forward in the very things they want to do.
Is the problem insecurity? Youth are normally insecure. They are moving into new territory and changing emotionally, physiologically and socially at the same time. So the insecurity of youth is to be expected. But do we really expect people who have lived half of their natural life to still be in the same condition?
It is as if modern culture, with all its “advanced” thinking and godless concepts, has left whole generations without a foundation for moving forward. The “If it feels good, Do It!” philosophy has produced a much weaker strain of human than the “This is your responsibility, Live up to it!” philosophy.
Self-indulgence and being pandered to by the culture have caused endemic insecurity. And that insecurity also manifests in the ever-growing dependence on psychologists and other props
Religion is a Prop
I recall with a smile those who would taunt Christians with the accusation that “Religion is a prop!” They were suggesting, of course, that they did not need props and were somehow more self-sufficient and complete than Christians.
I like the answer one of my friends gave to that “prop” taunt. He said, “Jesus Christ is not my prop. He’s my Iron Lung! I don’t just lean on Him. I am totally dependent on Him!”
I think it is fair to say that faith in Jesus Christ provides a very real additional support to the human heart and our life in general. The Holy Spirit is our ‘parakletos’, meaning the one who is called alongside to help us on our journey. The Angel of the Lord surrounds and protects us. God’s wisdom sustains us. Faith in God gives us peace that passes understanding, provides solutions to heart issues that would otherwise eat holes in our lives, and enables us to be set free from sins that would otherwise totally enslave us.
So, “Yes”, I think it is true to say that Christianity is a much needed support for human existence. I for one certainly would not like to face life without it.
What’s Your Prop?
I have met many non-believers whose whole existence is dominated by something they totally rely on. My neighbour was a drunk. I have met womanisers. I know many ‘workaholics’. Australia has many sports fanatics. I have met ego-maniacs, sex-addicts, political animals, control freaks, entertainment junkies, computer game slaves, food fiends, choc-aholics, academia idolaters, fantasy escapists, gambling addicts, druggies, and the list goes on.
If people do not have the divine means of resolving life’s issues they have to become dependent on weak and beggarly things. Despite their pride in self or confidence in their chosen life focus, they are leaning on a broken stick. Their football final won’t solve the problems in their life. Money won’t buy them happiness. Multiple relationships won’t heal the soul.
But, I digress – let me get back to the delayed life.
Life On Hold
Many of those whose life is in a holding pattern think that it is normal to be where they are. Their peers are probably in much the same boat.
Youth are put on a slow paced and ever expanding academic treadmill. The degree they may achieve in their late 20’s is inferior to what students achieved up to a decade younger, less than 200 years ago. Today’s youth are not “getting an education”, but “getting swallowed up in a system of delay”.
Youth are also distracted with all manner of meaningless and mindless things. Their great achievement in life is to master some intangible and vaporous thing, like a new level in a computer game that will soon be obsolete. Instead of achieving tangible things that will be the foundation for their future, they spend their energies on illusory distractions, thus denying them the maturity that can only come from reality.
In these and many other ways today’s youth are put “on hold” and they can stay in that pattern for much of their life.
A famous American naval officer, during the American Civil War, was Admiral David Farragut. What impressed me about this man is not his achievement in his latter years, but the fact that he was a great achiever as a lad.
Born in 1801, young David became a midshipman by the time he was 10 years old. That role was normally given to young lads from well-to-do families, so they could be trained up in the officer stream. A midshipman was required to learn navigation and other skills in preparation for taking charge of a ship in due course.
At age 10 young David revealed his capabilities, by capturing an English ship. David was given command of his own ship at the age of 12 years!!!!
Now, think about the 10 year olds you know and tell me whether the training processes of our culture have prepared them to capture a ship yet? Think of those who are 12 years old, and tell me whether they have any hope of being made captain of a ship, over a crew of full-grown men.
I suggest that today’s youth are being cheated. They are being robbed of their true potential, by a social order that lulls them into complacency, blocks their maturity, eats up their years in dumbed-down processes, distracts them with vaporous illusions, fills them with silly notions, cuts away their foundations, and leaves them to flounder in uncertainty.
Meanwhile the siren song of the media and pop-culture asserts that we have ‘evolved’ to new heights and new levels of self-fulfilment. We have not moved forward, but backwards!
It’s all a “matrix”-like delusion. And the real evidence is the multitude of people who have spent half their life and have nothing to show for it. They are still insecure, holding onto scraps instead of substance. They have filled their life with samples, but never bought the real product.
Marriage has been replaced with cheap samples of sex, and throw-away relationships, supposedly in preparation for the real thing. Family has been replaced with the age-streamed peer-group. Direction has been replaced with the latest pop-culture fad. Self-actuation has been replaced with addiction.
Responsible leadership has been displaced by illusory status-symbols. Moral character has been displaced by academic learning. True achievement has been displaced by material goods.
Generational integration has been displaced by the drinking buddies. Wisdom has been displaced by information.
All anyone has after a life-time of these fraudulent substitutes, is a bag of samples. They cannot show a family lineage or a life proven by consistency through the decades and against all the storms. They have not developed character or earned things of substance to pass to their descendents. For many there is little connection or care for those ‘descendents’ anyway, since the mess of their life has damaged those ties.
Now, I am not saying that to be single at 35 means that life has been wasted or that people are lost in insecurity. I know many who have very purposeful lives and who are yet waiting to find a spouse.
What I do see, however, are people who reach that age having been through a series of cheap relationships and half-hearted ventures with silly ideas about themselves and the world in which they live. These are the ones I am concerned for.
Those who seem incapable of doing the things their grandparents had no difficulty achieving are the ones who have been deceived and had their lives stolen from them.
At heart, the solution is for people to find their true selves, under God’s direction. The problem is that the cultural messages are so overpowering that God’s truth is filtered and watered down, even as it is received.
There is a corporate blindness which the enemy has blanketed western culture with. It is endemic deception, such as Christ identified to the Apostle Paul in launching that ministry 2,000 years ago.
Jesus appeared to Paul in a vision and told him that Paul was to turn people from the blindness which the devil held them in.
“To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so they can receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith that is in me.” Acts 26:18
We need an “eye opening anointing” upon this generation. They are blind and are being led by the blind. Only when people know the truth can the truth set them free. So, please pray with me for deliverance for today’s generations, so people can stop delaying their life and become powerfully effective in the destiny for which they were created.