I ache for my young friends. I vividly recall my youth and how challenging and difficult it was. There was much good but there were also those moments of discovery when I honesty thought I would not survive. Now, far removed, I watch some of my young friends struggle through the same dark waters that I swam and I hurt for them tremendously even as I know I would do anything to help them get out of the water and help save them from themselves.
A few listen to well-meaning advice and seem to be able to avoid some of the pitfalls of being young and growing up. But others seem to want to take a mad, headlong leap into hedonism and sensuality and everything else that comes along with what their young peers are telling them is fun, freeing, titillating, and exciting. It reminds me of a toddler who goes out of his way to find mud puddles to jump in. It seems so intentional. And yes, rebellious. Anyway, I’m afraid some of my friends are irrevocably damaged now due to the results of their hunt for freedom and meaning. It hurts to see the loss of beauty and innocence.
God, I know I sound like an old fuddy-duddy and I’m embarrassed by that, I guess. I suppose perspective comes with age and, for sure, there are now more years behind me than there are in front of me. I do have a different perspective than someone who is one-half or one-third my age. But I guess it is about investments, God. The time and energy so many have taken to provide and care for our young only to see it, I think, wasted. But then, isn’t this somewhat the cycle of life, God? Wisdom comes easily to some and others, it goes without any notice? I suppose that even as my young friends are learning life I, too, am still learning to live.
I know, God, that as I think about my young friends I also think about me and my decisions now. Am I, too, living a life of waste, greed, and selfishness? I hope not but it is possible, isn’t it? Yes, I grieve for some of my young friends but I also grieve for any of us who can’t seem to learn that there is a higher and more meaningful way to live. That there is a higher purpose beyond simply trying to feel good and being happy all of the time. Life just isn’t wired that way.
God, protect my young friends. I pray that they will look and listen and be very careful in all that they say and do. Protect them from their own devices. And especially, I pray that you help them consider that there are others who love them and would do anything for them if they were to ask in their times of need. But I pray for me and all of us, too. Help us not to grow selfish. Help us not to get tired. And help us to keep strong.
Ah, to be young again? No thanks, God.
May we all look to you.