Youth–and the rest of the iceberg we enjoy while we’re on earth

Youth. (Considering this word applies to me more than its opposite, maybe I’m not really the one to be addressing this topic, but considering I’ll be there some day, I figured I’d give it some thought in advance.)

Youth. Is it a thing to be prized.

(Yeah, I know, look around, it’s a dumb question.)

But, in truth, I’m not really asking if it’s a thing that is prized, can be prized (living in our culture makes that immediately obvious). What I’m asking is if it is truly something that ought to be prized, esteemed above other things? Is it something that is a blessing, or is it to be considered the ultimate blessing?

Why is this something so special and even coveted in our culture? When you are young, do you have something that those who are not young do not have? I mean yes, I get that there are the advantages (or should I say, blessings) of youthful vigor, prowess, appetite, fervor, imagination, adventure and appearance.

As I craft the list above I keep adding items because I hear the random exclamations of a regretful individual: “That’s what I really miss now that I’ve been shoved around the bend!” This is the verse of many older people, it seems; or people who are afraid if they’re not careful they too will soon by older.

Now, I don’t want to appear to be an opinionated whippersnapper (Whoa! Where do these things come from?!) since I’m not there yet, but I would like to challenge the inordinate value placed upon youth today.

I believe it is wrong for several reasons. For one thing, it diminishes the value attributed to those who don’t have it. This is a problem both publicly–in the way others treat them and media represents them–and privately–in the way the not-so-young see themselves.

This leads to other problems. Youths are exalted to positions of prestige and primary impact before they know what to do with it. They develop a sense of entitlement and a neglect of others, possibly even scorn–especially of those beneath them on the scale of desirable age.

Maturity, good sense and wisdom are lost to us because they are left both uncultivated and un-exhibited. The growth and human development which comes with a great measure of experience and attention to life lessons is demoralized. Exalting youth says that you are not only just fine as you are, you are at your best right now. The idea is to not waste it all on trying to become holy and selfless–this would put you shamefully at odds with disposing of your present advantages.

Growing up and becoming responsible are now things to be greatly avoided. We must hold them off as long as we can. Yet, we fail to realize that growing up and shouldering responsibility are not things that merely come to us with age, they are things that must be consciously developed within us according to the choices we make about our direction.

Life here on earth is not a lengthy proposition and we should treat it as such. We should learn to treat the seasons that mark it as a gift, even as they mark us. They contribute to the meaning we have in life–they teach us how to make the most of our time. They remind us that seasons–childhood, youth, adulthood and old-age–don’t define us so much as they carry us along to who we are destined to become.

After all, the real living and being come after this. It is what we’re preparing for; the existence we’re made for. And I don’t know about you, but I want to get the most out of every season of living while I’m here so that I’m not ill-prepared!

What do I want with a recycled gift?

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes I think it is optional for me to trust God. Mind you, I never consider it an optional thing for God to give me information and understanding about the mysteries in my life. But I don’t see this as a contradiction.

My expectations for God are lengthy and precise. I want to know He’s listening and I want to get His answers. I want to be satisfied with those answers, and I don’t want to be disappointed. I want everything to go perfectly (understandable) because He’s in charge and I don’t want any long, unexplained periods of waiting.

And yet, today I find myself in one. It is not that this is a new discovery–I’ve been in this place for a while now–it is just not something that I expected to experience in my walk with God. At least not at this point.

I’ve waited before, but it was different then. In those former times, the shelter I found in God was something I easily equated with the beautiful promise/explanation He gave me. When I became discouraged He would remind me of His word to me and I would be strengthened. And because He consistently brought it back to me, I was enabled to walk through things that my own vision declared to be very disadvantageous for me.

But, while I am thankful for that gift being given to me at that time, it is not something that God is offering to me at this time. Instead, He is giving me the opportunity to grow beyond living according to the bluntness of my own knowledge and understanding. He is teaching me to acknowledge and trust His knowledge and understanding, even when I do not have the opportunity to see into them as deeply as I could wish.

I am learning that I can be okay even in the midst of this. I’m finding joy in trusting that God has not forgotten me just because He’s not telling me everything He is doing with me. I want to know that; I groan for those answers, but I wait. They are not what I need most right now.

Many times I do not even know what that need is, but I come asking and gratefully receiving what He gives. It may not be what I identified in my heart as the biggest obstacle to my happiness, but it is what He has identified in His heart as the biggest generator of the happiness He wants to fill me with.

Can you and I just hold onto that? Can we just let go of the gifts that fortified us in other seasons and receive the more solid things God is giving us for hope-formation today?

Wikipedia: Sufijo que entra en la formación de palabras con el significado de: I Acción y efecto: cese, corte, tueste.