I was watching the morning news last week and a segment came on featuring recent college graduates (graduating this May). One of the main thrusts of the segment was the sense of entitlement that many millennials seem to possess. Many of the graduates, interviewed while wearing their cap and gown, summed up their potential for success with statements such as, “I just have to stay positive, have a lot of confidence, and I’ll be able to fulfill my dreams.”
As I’ve watched my kids grow up in the “Disney generation” I suppose I can’t fault newly minted graduates for having this perspective. In an age where teenagers can become overnight sensations due to YouTube, where popularity is often based on social networks, and the school of hard-knocks are minor inconveniences compared to previous generations; there is a growing concern that college graduates are in “for a rude awakening.” One of the men interviewed in the segment stated, “we’ve spent so long telling our kids how fantastic they are, that we may have under equipped them to deal with a world that doesn’t pander to their every whim or need.”
Before I continue, I’m not placing every college graduate in this bucket. Just yesterday I read that one of the college graduates we recognized at church is going overseas to teach in Africa. I’m also not saying that every college graduate should aspire to pursue a career in missions. God has a unique plan and purpose for each of us. Sometimes it’s serving in a foreign land, and sometimes it’s serving in our backyard.
This verse showed up in my Bible reading this morning, which summed up what I had planned on blogging today. Make every effort to present yourself before God as a proven worker who does not need to be ashamed, teaching the message of truth accurately. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NET) In all we do, it’s about presenting ourselves as workers in the Kingdom of Heaven first and foremost and then trusting God to guide and direct our steps. Will this be difficult some days? Absolutely! That’s why I think it’s dangerous for us to tell our kids to “follow your dreams.” I don’t know about you, but the stuff I come up with on my own is usually rather insignificant or downright silly in comparison to the purity and purpose God has for my life. It’s good to dream, but only if our dreams line up with God’s purposes.
Once we get a vision for our lives that is born of Heaven, then we can forge ahead with determination knowing that God has called us to this day. When the world bears against us (and it will) God’s direction is the great motivator to continue and become a “proven worker.”
In closing, I will say I’m incredibly thrilled with this new generation of graduates. Their talent, knowledge of the world, and their ability to communicate on a global scale is unprecedented – more so than any other generation in history. That’s why I believe it would be a tragedy to watch such potential be minimized to self-gratification and vain pursuits instead of pursuing that which is eternal.
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain… Psalm 127:1a (NRSV)
Til next time,