Youth is wasted on the Young – an article I wrote for a tract

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Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”
– Ecclesiastes 12:1

There is something deeply attractive about the youth of our generation, there is something that hits you right away when you encounter them. They appear so radically different than our generation. In the words of Shakespeare, they are ready to bust open the buttons to their shirts and stand fearlessly before a loaded canon.

The young guns of this age appear smarter, wiser, trendier, more in touch with today’s world than us, they appear to be completely at ease with their lives, they appear more talented and in complete command of their lives. We hear so many stories of accomplishments at such a young and tender age, that it throws the balance of life apart at times. People like Mark Zuckerberg discovered and invented massive revenue generating softwares when they were in their late teens. He is a billionaire now, and so are many other teenagers who chose different paths to fame, to success and glory. Justin Bieber who has only now touched his twenties has become a pop culture icon. His superhit songs are heard by millions if not by billions worldwide. I remember hearing a man who worked as a mason once hum the tunes of Bieber’s cult classic, ‘Baby’ as I was travelling by the evening train that was full of workers returning back to their homes.

We who watch them shine in the world’s delighted attention allow our imaginations to dream such dreams, we too long for that same wealth, name and glory. We mistake success for value and personality for character. We idolize and worship them, we pattern our personalities to what we see. We are so smitten by the glamor, the beauty and their unbelievable talents that we do not see how they are really like. We are so enamored by the one sided image streaming through Youtube, Mtv or Vh1, that we do not see beyond the deliberately constructed social image, and into who they are as people. e rarely are ready to acknowledge that they too are as human as us and in many ways are more broken than us. Preaching Icon, the Reverend Billy Graham, once remarked that the rich, the famous and the iconic have often visited him with deep questions about how to find meaning in life. They told him about how broken their lives were. Billy Graham was the pastor and personal friend to many American Presidents, and they all asked him the same question. How to find meaning in this life..? Billy Graham talked about how most of them suffered from intense depression, character issues, with great moral struggles and personal insecurity. How foolish are we to presume that we know better..? If the greatest among us are more broken than us, what hope can we have..?

We move away from taking the time to build a strong, trustworthy character and instead take great efforts to build a shallow outward image. It is no wonder that youngsters these days are so eager in appearing socially conscious, mature and powerful. Rarely do we see them being vulnerable, respectful, warm or kind. Can we blame them..? They learn more from their social environment than from the Bible or from Christ centered individuals. They have this inward cinematic reel that runs all the time directing the way they should behave, how they should treat others and about how they should project their personalities as. The Entertainment with its penchant for spreading lies and dramatic exaggerations targets youth for their money. Most youngsters these days are not only tuning into the regional cinemas for entertainment. Most of them are up all night watching Star World, Z Cafe, Comedy Central which streams western entertainment round the clock. The World has become a small place, what happens in some obscure corner can now be brought right into the space of our living room. Movies, books, the internet educates most young minds, and they use whatever they feed their minds with and perceive the world through the ideas offered.

It is only later in life that a man realize the burdens of destiny, of purpose, of spiritual direction and responsibility. Psychology and Philosophy ask a man two fundamental questions… Who am I…? And what is the purpose of my life…? Ask any youth these questions and beside the typical smartass response, there is a deep uncertainty as to how to answer them…the question will truly affect anyone being asked, because these are questions that take a lifetime to answer and cannot be answered with wit, knowledge or in a few sentences. There are no correct answers to these questions, there is only the definition that an individual gives it himself, over the course of a lifetime.

Why is there no mention about God in any of our programs..? Our Serials morbidly poke and penetrate the human condition with all of its evil and flaws, and present it in a way that is overtly dramatic, shallow and artificial. Making it appear like life is either one happy place with perfect, lovable characters who burst into jokes or songs in the most random of places or like a earthly version of hell with characters with every psychological defect known in the world, hell bent on creating pandemonium and bringing others down by all means. Our talent shows are like our schools with their mindless nature of refining talent, imposing tasks to extract ability and seldom acknowledging the soul, the character and the emotional life of a person, they rarely see the person for who he or she is. The contestants are compared to previous contestants, the judges rant and rave like everyone possesses the same talents. Music and Talent is presumed to be the very pathway to personal satisfaction.

Ravi Zacharias once quipped that there was no human answer for the human dilemma, no creed, no ideology, no religious belief that has had a perfect track record in giving absolute and meaningful answers. Does human history lead anywhere, or is it all in vain since death is merely the end? How do you come to understand good and evil, right and wrong without a transcendent signifier? If these concepts are merely social constructions, or human opinions, where do we look to determine what is good or bad, right or wrong?
How do we deal with the regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot who saw religion as the problem and worked to eradicate it? Countless millions lost their lives under these godless regimes. How do we deal with suffering..? With sorrow..? With Pain…? Right now around the world there are those who don’t have the means to a proper meal, who are being abused in regimes that rule with terror and force. What

When you are alone, don’t you find your mind confused because of the lack of meaning in life..? We live a thousand days in the same fashion.. moving like robots, seldom ready to take charge and change our inmost traits. Whenever you experience something new, don’t you find your hearts unable to process whatever has transpired..? We have so many limitations that we are seldom ready to confess or acknowledge. But we vainly think that we have all the solutions, all the answers to this terrible force of life. Our very being yearns for a God. The Philosopher of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes has mentioned that ‘ God put eternity in the hearts of men’, he says that He did so because by that way we would all seek Him and find Him. We are all seeking Him, one way or the other. We are either too caught up in our lives to really

We cover up so much of our anger against God and often take His righteous and Holy Name in vain, by mocking and scorning at those who believe.. We long for Him to intervene.. We are confused as to why He does not make Himself more visible and real. But silently in our own hearts are we not longing for Him to be real..? Don’t we wish like a child that He would step in and stop terrorists who are wreaking havoc and confusion in many unstable countries..? Don’t we wish for Him to feed those who are terribly poor..? Don’t we wish for Him to stop the horrors and the evils of prostitution, of young girls sold to sexual slavery..? Where is God when we long for Him the most…? So many agencies are working round the clock, sacrificing their comforts to fight against this terrible nexus of evil and yet, it seems like their effort is too small. The problem of evil transcends our works in combatting it with our own will and efforts. What we need is not a right way, what we need is an inward change in our hearts.

We need God, the world is so clever that it takes us away from truly asking our hearts if there is a Creator. Our own human life with its continuous highs and lows, with its pressures, its demands and needs leaves us with very little time to listen to our conscience, and even we are honest enough to accept that , we either deny its call, or justify it by some human wisdom and intellect. We search for love, for passion, for success in life, in love, in our dreams, in achievements, in music, in sports, in business. But it seldom lasts, and more often than not it can rarely be trusted or found to be perfect, they all fade away.. In the words of the Buddha.. they are but transient things, fading away like the early morning mists. Our hearts wander and roam this predictable life in the forms of our habits, our rituals and meaningless customs. ‘ Only one life and that will soon pass, only what’s done for Christ will last’ wrote C.T. Studd.

Two thousand years ago, God took the form of a man and lived among us. He came to offer us peace, relief from our sicknesses, our travails and our sour earthly life. What’s more He came to offer us a live picture of how God is really like. Jesus Christ was that man.. Except He was no man.. He was the living son of God, born of the spirit, in all His years.. The Bible talks about how He never sinned..!!! Imagine that, imagine a man, any man.. never sinning.. Wouldn’t that be a sight for sore eyes..? There have been many accounts of so called divine beings, of seers, of so called prophets.. but hardly do you hear of them abolishing sin or dying for the sins of all mankind. They taught excellent virtues that can be accomplished by human reasoning and wisdom if one is sincere in his questionings of all faith.

But the Bible is no mere religious book, the Bible is like God’s love letter to the world. Jesus came to make God’s love visible and understandable. And such was God’s love that He sent His Only Son to the Cross. Now many readers might wonder why..? Why is God so cruel as to allow mere human beings to exploit and hurt a being who was His very son..? Who was powerful beyond measure( He commanded stormy seas to a deathly still, He cast out demons from tormented men, He brought back the spirit of a dead man) , Who could do many miraculous deeds.. yet He never domineered over anybody, those who followed Him followed Him out of love and of their own free will.. He loved the outcasts of that age.. The Lepers, the Blind, the Sick, the lonely, the prostitutes, the criminals, the ordinary men who were looked down upon by the clergy of that day. He taught such powerful words, He spoke of forgiveness, of loving people who hate, who demean , who are constantly filled with motives to destroy and reduce us. He was Grace personified. And yet the Lord , our Lord.. For there is one God, Was crucified so that we could have a chance of living with God in a later day. God the Father wished to once and for all destroy the power that sin had over human lives, in olden days.. He controlled His righteous anger with the sacrifice of an animal, which was a terrible thing to do.. but atleast a man could observe and see the cost of his actions.. the shedding of innocent blood. Sin is our inherent deficiency to be drawn away from good, from righteousness and into what is evil, wrong, bad and useless and contributes to our own downfall. But the Lord observed that humanity’s tendency to only sink deeper into sin’s great power separated Him from His own children, mankind was not concerned at all by their evil ways.. the world sank into more chaos, into committing acts that God hated and despised. People began to push God away from the picture. We who bear His image, His likeness and bear His character in our talents, our virtues, our most highest ethics were separated from Him. By our pride, by the forces of evil very alive in the world and by own nature of not wishing for Him to interfere with our lives. Free will can be such a dear price at times. Freedom rarely accounts for a unity of purpose, of thought and mind. And that is why He sent His own son to the cross. Imagine that, would we ever do such a thing..? But God did not hesitate, since He knew that that would bring you closer to Him someday. He knew that Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was a price that He had to pay in order for you to find your way to Him past all the subtle decay inherent in this world.

And Christ defeated sin on that Cross where He suffered for you and for me dear friend. We all belong to the same God. And God would never force you follow Him. His way has always been one of peace, of love and the most healing kindness that you can ever believe. If you wish to ask Him into your life, all you have to do is to kneel down and look to Him in prayer and ask Him to come into your life, into your heart and to ask Him to change your life and give it more meaning. See your life afterwards.

It is when you are young that you brim with a fire that can never be extinguished by any force or power. Imagine what you can accomplish for you Lord if you allow Him to take over your life..? Imagine loving Him and following Him every single day of your life, there will be a steady comfort despite the lows of following Him. Following Him requires sacrifice, complete abandon and forsaking habits that you otherwise enjoy. But I guarantee you dear friend, your life will become a testament for the Lord’s love when you do. You life will be a witness for God Himself. Accept Him now, for the Bible tells us that Life is never guaranteed for anyone. He loves us all and is patient despite our great follies.

Love and Prayers
Joey