There is one thing about this generation that scares me almost more than anything. It was always there, but I never completely realized specifically what was wrong. All I knew was that something was off. It is something that is plastered everywhere and shown in everything. It's in the songs kids listen to, the clothes teenagers wear, and the mindsets of so many young people. Scroll through the most popular memes, the most pinned quotes, and the statuses that are so similar for so many people. It's a never ending list of the same sin that is engulfing this generation, and it is hardly noticed.
"I'm a proud supporter of messy hair and sweatpants." "Tonight I'm meeting Netflix and playing hard to get off the couch." "A good neighbor is one that does not put a password on their wifi." "Not to be rude but I don't really care.... like, at all...." "I'm training for a marathon! [On Netflix]" "You and me, pizza, movies, popcorn. Think about it." "Can't get out of bed. Send help. Or waffles. Maybe just waffles."
Those are just a couple examples of some t-shirts/bags/pictures/statuses that I have seen over and over again. Some just randomly scattered throughout the internet or on strangers or at stores, but quite often coming from people that I know well. Once in a while, the jokes are sort of funny. And once in a while, we all need a holiday, a time to rest and recuperate and recharge for the next spurt of business and hard work. But this generation is getting it all wrong.
We are telling ourselves that laziness is cool. Lethargy is awesome. Drowsiness and leisure is the best way to spend our time. Doing nothing is how to be content. It's okay to live life on the computer or at the TV. There's no need for effort- nobody minds! Just be chill.
These are the messages that are being sent to kids and teenagers everywhere. And it's actually terrifying, because this is the generation that will be the leaders of the world in a few years. And what did we learn during our teen years, arguably the most significant years of our lives? That a life of doing nothing is desirable, and that settling for 'okay' is the new standard.
It's rare for someone to put extra effort into a date with their significant other. Everybody is settling for the norm. Surprises or special outings are becoming notable events, because they hardly happen anymore. People don't bother to dress nicely for school, for events, for get-together's, for anything. Why? Because comfy is the new stylish. It's the attitude of 'Just Deal With It' that so many people have adopted. Haters gonna hate. There is no more attempt at formality- everyplace should be comfy, cozy, and laid back. That's the atmosphere that everyone wants. If it's too loud, we retreat to our headphones and devices. We lounge wherever we want- forget decency. It's a thing of the past. Courtesy and decorum are so old-fashioned.
It's scary in the sense that the habits of laziness that are being formed in millions of kids now are going to be put to the test in no time, but it is scary for another reason. Just as we are becoming lazy in the physical sense, those attitudes are overflowing into our spiritual lives. I know that without a doubt. Why? Because I can be the laziest person ever on weekends or holidays. I treasure the days where I can nap off and on, drink tea, watch my favourite show, eat chocolate, and read books. I love being able to relax and forget about schedules and homework. I love sleeping in til noon, and wearing my pajamas all day long.
And the happiness I feel from a day of doing absolutely nothing puts my mind in such a state of idleness, that it can hardly speed up enough to really focus on anything of importance, like maybe devotions. There are always opportunities to bless my parents and siblings by doing extra chores... but really weekends should be me-time, right?
The comfy/slouchy styles are cute, the quotes are funny and #relatable, but there is someone I know would disagree with all of them. Why? Because his life was lived with the exact opposite mindset. Jesus Christ. There is nothing wrong with resting- in fact resting on the Sabbath is a command. But rest is not the same as laziness. Those who are apathetic in their spiritual walk will be satisfied with where they are. They won't make goals, they'll read their Bible recreationally. Maybe a Psalm when they're feeling happy, maybe a few Proverbs for a dose of wisdom, but there is no drive. There is no discipline. They are not passionately seeking to grow and mature. No, to the lazy one, Christianity is a hobby. A cute side-job that provides necklaces, good music, and fun times at youth group.
Laziness in a relationship with Christ is why there is so little supernatural activity in North America! Too lazy to give, too lazy to work, too lazy to help. When God calls, when he nudges someone to step out of their comfort zone, they won't because it's too far. It's too scary. It's too hard. They literally can't even.
2 Peter 1:8,9~
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are short-sighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
2 Peter 3:18a~
You must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
There cannot be growth without effort. There cannot be knowledge without seeking. When we first responded to Jesus' call to servanthood, we did not apply for ease. We applied for daily carrying our crosses. And from what I've learned from the Gospels, carrying the cross was not very comfy.
Living a life of ease is to live a life like everybody else in this world. But to live a life in Christ is to life like Jesus did. In other words, to live life big! Passionately! Exuberantly! It's to live life outside of the comfort zone. Not just stepping out once and a while, but live outside of it so long that there is no such thing as your comfort zone. It's so hard to see Christ working when you stay where you're working on your own ambitions and pleasures and desires. It's outside of all that; outside of your bed and couch, and in the world that God called you to save, that you'll see how he's working.
1 John 2:5-6~
But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.
What has God commanded that we must obey? Love Him more than anything. Love others more than ourselves. Give all we own to the poor. Be a witness. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Not our own interests). Judge not.
Or what about "Follow me"? If that doesn't scream 'action,' I don't know what does! And when we follow Jesus, I can promise he won't lead you to your bed, except to kneel in prayer. I know he won't lead you over and over again to the fridge. He won't compel you to pick up the remote to watch 4 seasons of your favourite show in one day. Naw, chances are that following Him will actually help you grow. In grace, in knowledge, in wisdom, in love, and in your relationship with Him and with others. He'll pull you through the hard times, and dance with you through the good. Life could be an adventure! Purpose and joy could be yours! What more could you want? Pizza and netflix? Thought so.
But be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
So the thing about a comfort zone- it encompasses everything that is tragically demeaning the lives of this generation. Leisure, bliss, pleasure, and laziness. The thing about outside of it, that's where everything that Jesus is can be found: peace, joy, and love.
So as it is technically 7 minutes into the morning, I will say this: Good morning, sunshine! Rise and shine! Out of bed, out of the sweats, and forward to the adventure of a lifetime!