A Wayward Generation

Sam Rainer

May 28, 2007

“Gas prices are outrageous. I should probably sell my SUV and buy that Escort I saw advertised in the paper, but that might be just too smart for me to do it.” Although I had just met Duane waiting in line for the log flume, he and I struck up a good conversation. He was telling me about feeling the pinch of traveling 30 miles to work everyday.

“But I can’t imagine driving around in that little thing,” Duane laughed.

My brothers and I were at King’s Island celebrating his bachelor party (yes, even Baptist ministers can have fun). And being amusement park socialites, we struck up conversations with people in the long Memorial weekend lines.

Duane and I talked about jobs, families, goals, church, and our faith. He and I both agreed that many within our generation have lost sight of what’s important in life. In fact, 81% of young adults between 18 and 25 state that their number one goal in life is to be rich. The second most important life goal for this age group is to become famous.

The next generation is no different. 57% of 8 to 12 year-olds say that they would rather be popular than do what is morally right. Priorities have become skewed. Many people are searching for happiness in worldly endeavors, but they aren’t able to find it.

I am just as guilty – the biggest financial mistake of my life was buying brand new the truck I currently drive. It has push-button rear differential lockers, a four-wheel drive package, and a tow package. Do I need all this? No. But it sure lured me hook, line, and sinker. So now I have a gas guzzler with all the bells and whistles that I never use. It sure looks good on the road, though.

While there’s nothing wrong with having nice material items or being famous, many within my generation place their worth in what they own, how they look, and how many Facebook friends they have. Duane and I agreed that we both had made financial mistakes pursuing a certain image for ourselves.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us “there is nothing new under the sun.” The problems people faced years ago are the same problems of today and tomorrow. My generation is just as wayward as any other – we have just manifested these problems in different ways and through different media.

People don’t change all that much, nor do their problems. At the core of this issue is self-absorption. Many within my generation believe that they are the answer to their own problems. If they can just be rich enough or famous enough, then their feelings of self-worth will correspondingly rise. Unfortunately, there is not a positive correlation between fame, riches, and happiness.

Duane summed it up best, “We all just need to call on the name of the Lord.” Without a doubt, reaching this wayward generation will not be easy. They are seeds choking on the worries, riches, and pleasures of life. But the solution is simple – they need Christ.

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How welcome are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things! Romans 10:13-15

In short, we’ve got to go to them. Our feet have to carry us to their turf. We’ve got to tell them of God’s great love for the world that can wash away all insecurities. We’ve got to tell them of the riches of His grace. And we’ve got to tell them of Jesus, who is the greatest friend a person will ever know.

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