I am once again reminded that my generation has the most potential of any generation in human history.
I am not naive enough to believe that I am the first to say this, nor the first generation to make this claim. Regardless of what you think about my generation–whether you think we are the most tech-savvy, narcissistic class of over-educated, college graduates or the most socially-conscious, lazy group of under-achieving, immature 20somethings–you cannot deny that the over-connectedness of our world has set the stage for one of two options: unrivaled success or unbridled failure.
As I gather with others of my generation–whether it be in a stadium at a sporting event, an arena at a conference, or in one-on-one conversations–I am constantly reminded that we have the world at our fingertips.
No generation has been exposed to as much pain, suffering, starvation, brokenness, poverty, homelessness, war, death, disaster, and terror as we have.
No generation has had the opportunity to respond with so much love, relief, care, clothing, resources, peace, life, food, hope, and stability as we have.
Our over-exposure has been a blessing and a curse.
Previous generations were only concerned with what surrounded them. The borders of their country, albeit invisible, acted as retaining walls. Information was slow to leak out and even slower to enter. With the invention of the early radios the communication began to gain steam and grow exponentially. Radios gave way to television; television gave way to the internet. Each generation became more and more aware there was a world around them that was breaking at the seams. Each generation experienced a new awakening to the horrors that is humanity. Radio introduced the world to the realities of WWI. TV introduced America to the images of the Vietnam War. With each new generation, communication’s speed increased to the point where we have people capturing news without even knowing it.
Whether this is a good thing or not has yet to present itself. It all has to do with how my generation chooses to use the resources it has been given. Like always, there are those who use it and those who abuse it.
I have seen tens of thousands of college students raise over $1.1 million on relief efforts ranging from rebuilding Haiti to stopping sex trafficking across the world.
I have also seen 20somethings squander their parents’ money on various types of alcohol every other night in the downtown, party scene.
There will be a defining moment for my generation where we will have to choose what legacy we will leave. Will we take the opportunity to stand up and help our fellow man, even if he is 10,000 miles on the other side of the earth? Will we leverage our social-connectedness in order to make more people aware of the travesties that are taking place in the jungles of Africa? Will we use the use the emerging means of communication to broadcast the suffering and rally groups to help?
Or will we sit in our all too convenient Lexus cages and glimpse the world through our two-dimensional, 52″ flat screen that hangs on our apartment wall, expecting someone else to clean up the mess that the generations before us have made? Will we be so concerned with who is marrying whom, what franchise is on the rise, what the next big hit will be to even notice there is a world outside the fairytale we have constructed around us because false fronts we have build up because of social empires like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr?
My generation is approaching a crossroads that will define what it means to be a part of Generation Y. Which path will we choose? I have a guess, but I hold my judgment until that moment happens, because there is one force that has been a sleeping giant for decades. It is beginning to gain momentum again. Soon it will become visible in a new light, and the world will not understand the difference.
A new breed of Christians stand poised, ready for battle. There is an awakening happening in this nation, amongst this generation. There is a revival stirring on college campuses across the nation. Students and 20somethings are turning back to Jesus. There are finding new life, and that new life is contagious. No one can stop it. It has been sitting dormant for the past decade, but a movement has started that has awoken the beast. And, there is no stopping it.
They will not stand for being labeled as immature, conceited, selfish, unmotivated, lazy, over-connected, socially-shallow, or narcissistic. They will stand up to injustice, hurt, sin, pain, hopelessness, homelessness, tyranny, starvation, and suffering. They will show the world what the Body of Christ looks like. They will show the world what hope, love, justice, peace, forgiveness, mercy, faithfulness, kindness, faith, and grace really look like.
But, until that opportunity comes, they will lie in wait. Loving those around them. Investing in those who sit in classes with them. Spreading the good news of life with those whose lives overlap with theirs. They are not waiting for the day the movement goes global, because it already is. They are waiting for the moment when this movement goes viral. That inciting action that will signal the release of decades worth of preparation and prayer.
My generation may not be ready, but there is a group of us who is.