Monday, March 31, 2014

Is Youth Wasted On The Young?

Is Youth Wasted On The Young?

I think I know what George Bernard Shaw was attempting to say when talking about youth being wasted on the young.  Young people are in the best of health, their minds are clear and sharp, they're dreams are only as far away as their imagination can carry them.  I wonder if wisdom were given to the young, and health were given to the old, where would we be?  Seventy year olds' would be bungee cording, screaming "cowabunga", while the teenager looked on in horrified disbelief.  This is hyperbole, but you get my point. I would hazard to say the Lord gave us these timely “age” traits for a reason. Let me stereotype for a moment. The Millennials always seem to be more impetuous and impulsive, more willing to take a leap of faith in major decision-making, always assuming the outcome will be positive. Whereas the Baby Boomers or Gen X crowd are a bit more staid in resolving issues. They think things through at a slower pace, analyzing each situation. In a nutshell, the younger generations are like microwaves, whereas the older generations are like slow cookers. Each has favorable qualities, and each has negative ones.  I don't know the exact reason for this age-old conundrum, but I'm certain the Lord does.  He has equipped each stage of life with the necessities and knowledge required for that place in time. So in youth we are supplied with what is necessary to grow and learn and move and gather, whereas in old age we are supplied with experience and knowledge giving us better judgment and, hopefully, wisdom. Young or old, it is up to us to build on these Godly foundations and make them stronger. But, in the end, how does one explain to a twenty year old how time catches up with you all too quickly?  In the twinkling of an eye we are our parents, and the dreams of youth have slipped into memories of yesterday. It is only in the living that we learn life’s’ difficult lessons whether we want them or not.  In youth, we are impatient. It's all about instant gratification.  In middle age, we learn to take deep breaths allowing us time to contemplate.  In youth, we have all the time in the world. The days are an unending beach of sand. In old age, the days pass quickly by like the ticking of a clock.  If only we could manage to be more sagacious in youth and more optimistic with age then perhaps my twenty one year old niece will start a retirement fund, and I really will go bungee cording. Yikes.

I am glad to be through the age of indiscretion. Youth still holds some appeal when it comes to energy and less aches and pains, but I am not disillusioned in the discoveries of aging, for it brings a wiser more "grown-up" me, whom I like a whole lot more than my youthful counterpart.  I will still carry with me my childlike faith, my amazement of all creation, a love of roller coaster rides (see, I haven’t shed all of my youthful exuberance) and cotton-candy, but I hope I have set aside my childish ways.

Matthew 10:16  “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves." 

Isaiah 40:29-31
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

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