I have noted before that young adults seem to be delaying life, not getting established in family and community life until many years beyond when their grandparents did so. At the same time there is another process that stops people from entering into life, even when they have engaged with such things as family and social responsibilities.
Many people seem to be caught in a pattern of extended youth, unable to commit to the responsibilities attendant to adult life. They may still be uncertain about career, experimental in their relationships, unsure of their place and in an “on-hold” pattern, waiting for life to truly begin.
This may be encouraged by the ever expanding academic journey, or by the natural insecurities of youth not being properly resolved, and by living in a culture where their peers are also unsure and reluctant to step into adulthood.
Some Day When…
Another reason people have their lives on hold is their hope to achieve certain things before they take on new responsibilities. I recall many of my peers talking about delaying parenthood until they had bought their own home, fulfilled their academic dream, gone around the world, or other similar self-determined goal.
“I’ll start a family when ….” “I’m not going think about marriage until after I’ve graduated.” “We want to have our own home before we think about anything else.”
While goals and aspirations are good to have, they can become a barrier to people starting life. The more natural processes of family and social development are delayed, holding the people back from the maturing and authority generating steps which they have put on hold.
Now, here’s the main point that I want to challenge. Many people are not living their own life because they see themselves as in a “recovery” process. They see themselves as if “behind the starting line” and in need of getting back to square one before they can really get started.
This is particularly so for abuse victims, those with major disabilities, and those who have been disadvantaged in some way. The notion seems to be that the ideal starting point for life is that of being confident in our self, well educated and sent out from there.
Many people who have not had that kind of start see themselves, unconsciously, as disadvantaged and needing to resolve inner issues before they can get on with life.
Rather than entering into life many people seem to be looking for therapy. Instead of getting on with their own journey they seem to want a therapist (or some intervention) to help them get back to their notional starting point.
They carry their baggage around with them, always conscious that they are unable to get on with life and expect the kind of deal that other “normal” people might get. They are trying to make do with what they can get, as “damaged” people.
The culture sells us on the image of an ideal person. They are confident, attractive, articulate, resourceful, backed up by friends and family, and so on. Many people do not fit that kind of stereotype, especially in our day of so much tragic family breakdown.
So, people perceive themselves as not fitting the model, and become distracted with their own “recovery”, rather than realising they can get on with life from where they are.
Get the help you need. Don’t go to the culture that created the problem. Go to the much more powerful source of power and wisdom that has served every culture and proven itself through millennia of impact in lives and families. Go to the Bible. Establish yourself on what the Bible teaches, not what the TV preaches.
Hey, that’s a catchy way to say it: Live by what the Bible Teaches, not what the TV preaches! The Bible teaches and the Culture preaches. Choose wisely between them.
Your culture is robbing you. So put the culture in its place, as a servant to your life, not a master. Let God master your life and guide you into the freedom and purpose He has for you.
Start Right Here and Right Now
You don’t need a house debt free, or a millionaire dad, post-graduate degree, 10 year plan, plastic surgery, or showcase life in order to live your destiny.
You simply need to start “life” right now. Step out, holding God’s hand, into the wonderful destiny He has created for you. God took timid Gideon and made him national leader. God took loud-mouth Peter and made him an anchor. God took Saul with his inferiority complex and made him king. Rahab was a prostitute who became a hero of faith in the lineage of Jesus Christ. Ruth was a “foreigner” widow living in poverty who became wife to a wealthy man and grandmother to King David.
There is no reason why you can’t step into a glorious future from your inglorious starting point. The key is to let God escort you on the journey and to live for Him, not the distortions of your culture.
Stand on Your Disability
God delights in taking those things which do not qualify and using them to surprise those who have all the qualifications. That doesn’t mean we should abandon our gifts and capabilities but it does give hope to those who are up against many challenges.
If you let God into your situation to empower you to overcome your disability (social, personal, financial, etc) then you will have turned your limitation into a platform on which to stand. You will have become a ministry to all those others who struggle with what is dogging you, because you can show them the path to freedom.
Take Your Life Off “Hold”
Get connected with life. Step one is to get connected with God. Spend time in His presence, telling Him about your mess and asking Him to lead you out of it all. Get to know Him. Praise Him. Study the Bible and put your faith in Him.
As God breathes fresh new life into you, not only will you be set free, but you will already have momentum in that amazing journey we call “life”. Take your life of the “hold” pattern and get on with your walk with God. As you engage with Him you will discover what Jesus promised you, “Life more abundant”.
Reject the Fake
Many of those who have the nice car, nice house, nice family, nice career, etc, are living fake lives. The reason their lives are fake is that they are not connected with God. Their lives are mono-dimensional. They have the appearance and trappings of a nice life, but they do not have God’s power, truth, love, grace, favour and blessing flowing through them.
When you, the messed up one, plug into God, you will end up with a much richer and more wonderful life than those who have the culture’s trappings but an empty life.
Don’t buy in to your culture’s ideas about what is successful, happy or ideal. Let God show you what He can do. You will be much more satisfied with “life more abundant” than with the model life your peers are striving for.
And may God richly bless you as you walk with Him.