|My grandpa's wheat field in May.|
There is a problem with modern teens.
Before I get into the problem, however, let me talk about one particular symptom of that problem: a lack of foresight and depth in today's youth.
This mostly deals with the focus of a teenager's life. That is, we tend to think a lot about temporal things. And whether we realize it or not, we have been deceived into thinking that those things have lasting value.
Video games would be a popular example – but before I use it, let me backtrack here and give a whole lot of disclaimers. I'm not trying to guilt anyone into thinking that they shouldn't play video games at all, and I'm not saying that video games are bad things.
But the point stands that video games have no lasting value. They don't contribute to a person's emotional, spiritual, or relational depth, which is one reason why there are quite a few shallow people in the world.
Things like that crop up all the time in a teenager's life. Even conversation, which has the potential for lasting value, can end up being one long string of meaningless blonde jokes.
A preoccupation with temporal things shows that we don't know just how temporal they are. We have the wrong perspective. We can't see into the future far enough to realize that we had better spend our time on better things.
Of course, this symptom can be caused by a number of things, just like nausea can be caused by both malaria and the flu. And in no way am I stating the primary cause of this shallowness; but I think this is one of the causes.
Very simply stated, young people as a whole don't spend enough time with old people. In fact, we spend so little time with them that we think they're boring, and nothing could be further from the truth.
As a rule, actually, old people are far more interesting than young people. Sorry, teenagers, but you guys are flat-out boring compared to the grayhairs that sit at donut shops on Saturday mornings.
You see, “old people” give us perspective on life. They've gone through a whole lot more than we have. They've learned things the hard way; and we won't have to if we listen to them long enough. They know what sort of approaches work in life and what sorts don't. There are so many things that they've learned that we have yet to learn, and we'll get a head start if we learn it from them.
Because a lot of old people, being so much closer to death than we are, have learned quite a few things about life and what's really important. Of course, there are always exceptions, but for the most part there are a lot of giants in the faith that young people tend to forget about.
So if you have to pick one thought to take away, take away this one: spend time with the grayhairs. They have stories to tell if only you listen.