Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Age of Transition

The Age of Transition

Becoming an adult is not all it's cracked up to be. First, you never really arrive. Second, unlike any other time in life, "what's next" is never clearly defined. Thirdly, there's all those bills you have to pay. Like Meredith observed on Grey's Anatomy, although there's more freedom, there's a ton of responsibility. And sometimes, responsibility is hard to bear.

In talking with people who are at a similar life stage that I'm at, I realize that many of them are struggling to define their adult years. For most of history, this has been the age where people get married, have families and start a stage in life where they are caring for others. If adulthood didn't look like that, it almost certainly was about establishing yourself in a chosen profession and working your way to the next promotion. In a time where unmarried households have now surpassed married ones, and multiple places of employment is considered a good thing, this expectancy is rarely ever met.

The sad thing is that many young adults struggle during this time because they feel incomplete. They don't know where they are being led or what their future will look like. Recently, as I've been reading through the Gospels, I've been struck how in both Mark and Luke it says when Jesus was tempted the Spirit had led him out into the desert. I'm a firm believer that God doesn't tempt us (see the book of James), but I do believe that God leads us to places where we have to rely and trust in Him. For many of us, transitioning into adulthood is such a time as this.

When Jesus was in the desert He didn't have any of the comforts of Earth - no friends, no food, and no shelter. What He did have, He depended upon solely - namely communion with His Heavenly Father. It was through this process of being stripped of everything but trust in God and in His promises that He was prepared for His future ministry.

We think upon becoming an adult that our preparation is complete - that we should be ready to unleash on the world all the greatness that is us. But this is rarely the case. Instead, God often needs to refine us further so that we are willing to lay aside the dreams we had for our life in order to follow His call. He needs to strip us of what we have to give us that which we could never dream. Its for our good and His glory.

Oh, and in case you're starting to feel a little behind schedule and are wondering when God will reveal His great plan for your life -Jesus was 30 when He was led into the desert. His Earthly ministry lasted just three years. And He changed the world.



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The Age of Transition