Saturday, December 27, 2008

Most People Don't...

"Most people don't expect you to undestand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, the don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last.

Well, we do."

This is how Alex and Brett start our journey to learn how to do hard things. "We believe our generation is ready to rethink what teens are capable of doing and becoming." The Harris brothers are not out to talk about a new fangled idea that they invented. They believe that this is something that God is doing in the hearts and minds of our generation. This book is about a movement that is changing the attitudes and actions of teens around the world: a movement that is about rebelling against the low standards of this world. Are you excited yet?

I look around at teens who have made a visible effort to separate themselves from the world. In order to be able to rebel against the low standards of this world, we must separate from the world. However, as we put off the world, we have to put on Christ. This is all about God, guys. We have to keep in mind through this book that this is not about ourselves or a radical new movement, or even about changing the world, necessarily. It's about bringing glory to Christ's name and spreading the AWESOME news of His saving grace! Alex and Brett give us a few radical questions to explore:

- Is it possible that even though teens today have more freedom than any other generation in history, we're actually missing out on some of the best years of our lives?

What this question is asking is it possible that even though teens are given more privileges by the world and are allowed to have "fun" because "they are teenagers", we are actually making our beds for our future life in adulthood?

- Is it possible that what our culture says about the purpose and potential of the teen years is a lie and that we are its victims?

The culture's view of the purpose and potential of the teen years is to have fun! To try new things and be who you want to be. But is that REALLY what the purpose of the teen years is?

- Is it possible that our teen years give us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for huge accomplishments-- as individuals and as a generation?

Instead of the time in our life where we are all happy-go-lucky, could it be that we could change the thinking of the teen years instead?

- What would our lives look like if we set out on a different path entirely-- a path that required more effort but promised a lot more reward?

What if we tried to work for something more eternal and more rewarding, even though it may take a lot more effort and we may have to do hard things in order to get it?

This is what doing hard things for Christ is about. The more eternal reward is that of Christ and his glory, than for our temporary fun that could ruin our entire lives. In order to get this, we have to do hard things!! For the temporary fun, it's not too hard to get. But as Christian teens, we should strive for more than that. The temporary fun is not worth our time or trying. The eternal reward is worth all our efforts and trying.

What is doing hard things? Alex and Brett give an example of a cold monastery in Germany where monks constantly try to do hard things. They sleep on stone floors, wear extremely uncomfortable clothing, and eat sludge and lukewarm water. This is NOT what doing hard things is. The Harris brothers are challenging us to grab hold of a more exciting option for your teen years. They are not saying that if you work harder or make yourself more uncomfortable on purpose, God will love you more. That's not true. They are saying that we could redicover the way to reach higher goals, dream bigger, grow stronger in our spiritual life, love and honor God, live with with more joy, and quit wasting our lives.

That's all for now. I'll get Chapter 2 to ya soon!



Isaac, the masterofweirdness said...

I've heard a lot of this book and from what you've written I've decided that I have no idea why I should read it. lol.

Maybe its because I've not "in sync" with American culture and what teenagers in the US are or aren't doing but no one ever told me the purpose of my teenage years are to "have fun" and "mess around" I've always known that I'm preparing for my life as an adult (though, truth to be told, having fun is part of that I me as a carefree (or whatever) teen can't have fun how will I be able to have fun as an adult?). Most of that usually means school work, general spiritual stuff, but its also discovering who I am as a person and where I belong in the world. As of right now, I think I have a pretty good idea where I might go, but its not that clear...

But it is kinda funny, I heard about this book and I just went, "low expectations? Darn... lucky people..." I've always had high expectations... I've probably lowered them a bit because I see how the world is now, but I still have some pretty lofty dreams...

Lydia said...

idk if i get what you are saying, but this is about setting higher standards for yourself... not about low standards.. it's about rebelling against the low standards.. i think that it's in your culture too, just in a different form. in our culture, you aren't EXPECTED to do anything responsible. And if you do, you aren't expected to keep it up. That's a low standard.. so this book is about higher standards.. i think you'll understnad it more if you read it, and/or read the blog series on it.

tell naomers i said hi!

Isaac, the masterofweirdness said...

Well... if you are talking about high standards and how people don't have them then you will invariably say that you want people to not have low standards, correct?

And what you are saying is differently a problem, but its not one that I seem to have. Its not one that my friends have. I know that lots of them have all sorts of pressure on them to become powerful men and women of influence in their country. Heck, one of my friends will probably end up one of the "chiefs" of his village in Samoa and his cousin is the son of the pastor of my church, and thus a national (if not international, seriously) leader by birth. I'm actually much luckier than them in that case. :)

Resposible is an interesting word to use in regards with expectations. Teenagers, like all youth and kids aren't resposible as a general rule, simply because we still are not adults (mostly) and while we can do certain tasks its assumed we are not going to be able to accomplish others. If you ask me, to a degree this IS fair. One of the reasons the US has an age limit on congress people and presidents is because age generally brings maturity and nearly always brings wisdom.

Maybe I should read the book... if only to understand that these people claim is a major issue with the American youth. I mean... eventually (well.. actually, this time in two years if everything goes according to my plan I'll have survived my first semester at Balyor Uni :)) I'll be part of that culture, if only by association.

I'll tell naomi that you said hi! :)

Andrew said...

Hey Lydia,
You know who hasn't posted on her blog in a while? You, that's who. It's been over a month...

Kat said...

Hey Lydia, this is Katherine S from TPS!
I'm new to blogger.. how do I "follow" someone's blog?