Archives For Life
Some thought provoking insights from the NYT about Millennials growing focus on finding meaning through serving others.
Today’s young adults are hoping to go into careers that make an enduring impact on others….St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital came in as the No. 1 place these millennials wanted to work “The focus on helping others is what millennials are responding to,” James W. Lewis, the chief executive of the honor society, told Forbes.
Some studies have suggested that millennials are narcissistic and flaky in their professional and personal lives, and are more selfish than prior generations…Whereas older millennials showed a concern for meaning, the younger millennials who came of age during the Great Recession started reporting more concern for others and less interest in material goods.
This data reflects a broader pattern. Between 1976 and 2010, high school seniors expressed more concern for others during times of economic hardship, and less concern for others during times of economic prosperity. During times of hardship, young people more frequently look outward to others and the world at large.
…Millennials have been forced to reconsider what a successful life constitutes. By focusing on making a positive difference in the lives of others, rather than on more materialistic markers of success, they are setting themselves up for the meaningful life they yearn to have — the very thing that Frankl realized makes life worth living.
As more and more comes out about the Millenials, I’m rethinking the ideas of writers like Robert Webber and Leonard Sweet. Webber suggested that Younger Evangelicals would embrace liturgical forms. Sweet predicted that post-moderns were more concerned with collecting experiences than accumulating stuff.
As a follower of Jesus, do I find this encouraging? Not yet. Many of his teachings are simple “how to be decent humans”, and it should not surprise when others come to similar conclusions.
The problem with a general sense of altruism is that that it is unsustainable alone. Jesus called for peace, and so did the hippy generation. A few decades later the US was back at it in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and those voices nowhere to be heard.
Ideals such as altruism or peace-making need to couched in a worldview that gives them broader meaning. They need a system that teaches one how to act on their feelings. Jesus followers call that Faith and Discipleship.
What do we do with a study like this? Use the growing sense of altruism to as a launching point for teaching the Jesus way of life.
Seeking His Face is a daily prayer book, designed to use the scripture to teach us to pray.
The life of prayer doesn’t start from scratch. The wish upwards is evidence of a readiness to pray. But how do we get from wish to prayer? How do we get the elusive, wispy, insubstantial wish embodied into actual prayer?
…the simple truth is we’ve oriented our lives around other practices. We’ve already created a form for our lives and have conformed our living to work deadlines, the pace of parenting, school schedules, media rhythms, and soccer practices. These can be good, and yet the pattern of this world can sabotage a life of prayer—and to live without prayer is to be deformed, no longer conformed to Christ.
But all is not lost. We’ve at least shown the capacity to form some habits, to practice regular routines. The beginnings of a healthy life of prayer are sometimes found in understanding the habit or practice-nature of much of the Christian life.
….Each day of prayer contains a number of different elements— an invitation into God’s presence, times of quiet, Scripture, free prayer, a set prayer, and a closing blessing. All of this is meant to be experienced as prayer. We may not be used to this way of praying, but think of it as an extended conversation with God—God invites you to be with him; you quietly enjoy his presence, listen to his Word, and respond to him with the reality of your life; and God sends you with his blessing. (From the Introduction)
Thanksgiving should be the best of all holidays. As long as you don’t read 1491, then it’s an opportunity to remember how lucky you are to be alive. Add to that the two main tasks: Feasting and Football. What’s not to like?
I spend a lot of Thanksgiving feeling guilty that I don’t feel thankful. It’s because of two lies:
Every day, I wrestle with a sense that I’m getting gypped. There’s something awesome out there that I should receive, and I am not getting it. I deserve flatter abs, a better car and a lot more attention.
There is no rational basis for this feeling. Blame advertising, FOO or original sin. It doesn’t matter. When I should be counting my blessings, I’m stewing over my disappointments.
Most of the time when people say “you should be thankful” I want to retort with “yeah, but what if…” The “what if” is usually something disastrous. What if I fail? What if I get cancer? What if I loose everything and end up on the streets?
It’s hard to be thankful when you are busy focusing on fear.
I don’t have a tidy self-help solution, but I know that the first step to overcoming a problem is to name it. What is it that keeps you from being thankful?
“Perhaps it takes a purer faith to praise God for unrealized blessings than for those we once enjoyed or those we enjoy now.