My Generation

An essay I wrote in a moment of frustration last semester...

I’m an avid Titans fan, and you know what? I really think that they’ve got a shot at making the Super Bowl next year. We’ve got a new offensive coordinator that calls much better plays than the old one did, and if we can pick up a clutch receiver from the free agency to complement our running game, the offense should be unstoppable. The defense was good this past year, but if we can pick up a shutdown corner to help in the secondary, the defense will be incredible. Playoffs should be a given if we make some smart moves this off-season. You know, I like talking about the Titans.

I like talking about movies too. That Bourne Trilogy was really something wasn’t it? But it still can’t touch Lord of the Rings, nothing can. The Star Wars series is OK too, but you have to admit, hands down the old trilogy was WAY better than these new ‘pre-qual’ things. And if you ask me, M. Night Shyamalan is the next Alfred Hitchcock. Who knows, maybe he even surpasses Hitchcock. You know, I like to talk about movies.

Music is fun to talk about too. So is TV. And oh, don’t get me going about how PCs are head and shoulders above Macs… By the way, iPods and iTunes are of the devil; give me a Zune any day… If you ask me, Starbucks mocha frappachino is by far the best drink you can buy for $4… You’ve got to admit, it’s really a toss up between the Wii and Xbox 360. I mean who could ever choose between Masterchief and Mario?... You know, I like talking about all these things.

But there is so, so much more.

Yeah, those other things are fun and amusing, but they’re… flat. I want to talk about things that get my heart burning, that strike that reverberating chord deep inside. What effect has humanism had on modern philosophy? How can we combat the post-modernism that has conquered our culture? What is the nature of truth, where does it come from? How should our Christianity play itself out in the world around us? What can we do to stem the tide of abortion? Is politics something that we should have a part in? How does our worldview affect our decisions and actions? These are things I love to talk about.

But when I bring them up with my peers, more often that not I just receive blank stares.

If I get any response at all, it’s usually either (a) stop being a smart-aleck, or (b) stop being argumentative, or (c) both. I try to gain information and knowledge, analyze how it applies to me and my life, and use what I’ve learned to make better decisions; does that make me a smart-aleck? I believe with all my heart and soul that truth is worth standing on and fighting for; does that make me argumentative? Am I the only person in my age bracket who feels this way?

Am I the only one that sees our country going down the tubes? Does no one else see that we’re so permeated with our self-absorption that all most people seem to care about is their own comfort and enjoyment? Does no one else see that gay-rights, abortion, and other liberal agendas are gaining ground only because the good sit, say we’ve already lost, and do nothing? Does no one else see that while we complain about how our food tastes, there are thousands who are starving and would kill for what we throw away? Does no one else see that if our generation doesn’t stand and fight for truth that transcends beyond ourselves and what we feel and think, our country will be destroyed? Does no one else care about the fate of our children and grandchildren who will have to live with the consequences of our decisions today? I’m calling out: is there anyone?

Am I the only one that sees Christianity as a war rather than a joy-ride? Does no one else see that Jesus promised us trouble, not comfort? Does no one else see that the Bible says go out and make disciples, not stay put and earn money? Does no one else see that Jesus said a house divided cannot stand, not squabble and separate over your differences? Does no one else see that our faith is so much more than going to church, praying, and reading the Bible; that it demands obeisance in everything from washing the laundry to casting our vote? Does no one else see that while we’re enjoying our culture’s entertainment, people are dying and going to hell without having even heard the gospel once? I’m calling out: is there anyone?

Surely, there must be others like me. Somewhere deep inside us, we must realize that we have been watered down to ineffectiveness by what our culture has been feeding us. Down in the depths of our being, we know life’s meaning cannot just be the sum of the things we want and enjoy. If we as Christians would actually be still, quiet, and cut out the distractions for just a moment, maybe we would hear the Holy Spirit prompting. Or maybe we do hear Him, but we use all these pleasures and entertainments to drown Him out because we know He is calling us to do things we don’t want to do, things that make us uncomfortable, things that might even hurt.

Or do I have it all wrong? Am I really just being a smart-aleck, just being argumentative? Is pleasure more important than wisdom, ‘getting along’ more important than truth? Are these things that ignite my inner being, in the long run, just frivolities? Is life’s meaning really just the sum of the things I want and enjoy; do I have my priorities mixed up? Maybe so, you tell me.

I’m an avid Titans fan, and you know what? I really think that they’ve got a shot at making the Super Bowl next year…


Cara said...

Boy, do I ever agree. Of course, you knew that. Sibling telepathy is a wonderful thing.

Seriously, though, I find myself in a very odd position: I can't even talk about the "flat" subjects. What do I think of the latest movie? "Uh, I just love Cary Grant..." What do I think of the latest band? "The Beatles completely rock..." What do I think of the Titan right-end (or whatever)? "Uh...he's cool...or not...no, he's bad, very bad..."

I suppose that might explain why so many people consider me shy and withdrawn--I just have nothing to talk about that they seem to want to hear. If they wanted to hear about Cote d'Ivoire, then I could talk. If they wanted to hear my views on politics, I could talk. If they wanted to hear my testimony, I could talk.

And maybe they do...and I'm just dumb to it. Who knows. Meanwhile, I'll just keep smiling and nodding. :D

...and you and I can continue having debates about the reality of "magic."

thejuniorpartner said...

Cason, that was a marvelous post. I was totally not expecting the punchline which was very profound. Look forward to reading more of your thoughts :)

- Micah Engel