Updated 7.4.13 at 12:50pm
You know your mother and I love you right? Right? We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t love you… You might want to sit down for this… because this. is. an. INTERVENTION. We think you’re having a Pre-Life Crisis.
Let me explain. Just about every young-adult experiences an identity crisis.
(Or, for the sake of good branding, a “Pre-Life Crisis.” Not to be confused with the more popular but less cool “Mid-Life Crisis.” Nor your irreversible post-mortem destiny called the “Post-Life Crisis” – also known as heaven and hell.)
Sooner or later, at some point in our young lives, we get to this magical moment between dependence and independence where we decide that “I just have to figure life out for me!” Since the day we were born, our values, beliefs, and worldview have been determined by the roof we live under and the town we live in. But as we grow toward adulthood we begin to establish our independence. “I don’t care what mom says. Or dad. I don’t care what the church has told me. I don’t even care what the law says, Mr. Officer. Common sense, move over! For my entire life, I’ve been told who I am. And now, I need to make sure that’s who I really am.”
I don’t know when this happened for you, I just know it did. Maybe it was your senior year when you became old enough to smoke a pack while rocking the vote. Maybe it was your first week in college when you tested waters that would’ve earned you a life-sentence for even mentioning at home. Maybe it was when you started dating a guy or you met a professor who challenged the way you thought about life. Or maybe it was when you graduated and everything got real, like fast. I don’t know when the magic moment was for you, but we all went through it.
If you’re a parent, and you find yourself nodding your head, that’s because you have a son or daughter neck-deep in the Pre-Life Crisis. It’s gone so far with your youngster you’ve considered an EEG or a Cat-Scan. They’re wearing things, saying things, doing things, reading things that you never would’ve imagined! And any time you try to offer a nugget of parental wisdom, they explode: “Don’t tell me what to do! Get with the times! Back off! I’m an adult!” (And you’re thinking, “Well then pay your cell-phone bill and car-insurance Mr. Adult!”)
But this is the Pre-Life Crisis! And you went through it too. Maybe for you older folk it was a back-packing trip across the country, or a move to a new city, or even a few years as a Hippie (which you’re still a little foggy from). I don’t know what it was, but fact is, to some degree, just about every young adult experiences an identity crisis. It’s just a matter of how and when.
Now faced with this reality, some just leave it at that. Some look at this critical stage and say, “That’s life!” “Been there. Done that.” “They’ll grow out of it.” “Isn’t this what college is for?” “I’m finding myself.” And I believe that’s a catastrophic error in judgment. Because it’s at this moment, perhaps for the first time your entire life, a paramount question is emerging. One that must not be overlooked. Most us don’t notice the question at first, and if we do we ignore it, but ignoring it is foolish because it is one of the most important questions you’ll answer as a human being.
The Pre-Life Crisis should be called the Pre-Life question because, for perhaps the first time, you are faced head-on with the question of PURPOSE.
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What should I be doing with my life?
It’s an important question. In fact, if there is one thing that content people have in common, it’s that they’ve answered this question. Not happy people, but content people. Happiness comes in seasons, but contentment is a lifestyle. And if there is one thing that content people have, it’s purpose.
So won’t you answer the question? You are on the cusp of adulthood. You are carving out your unique spot in the world. You are establishing the groundwork of your legacy. There is a cause-effect relationship between your 20s and 30s. In a day of social media, everything you do and say will follow you forever. Your present will become your past and your past will affect your future. So wouldn’t it be advantageous to zero your time, talent, and resources around a worthwhile purpose today? Wouldn’t it be smart to answer the question?
Many young people choose to ignore the question. They’re so near-sighted, obsessed with the temporary pleasures of today, that they can’t see past tomorrow. I mean “Who has time to think about life when I haven’t figured out where I’m going Friday night?”
Others choose to insult the question. They pretend to take it seriously, but their answers look more like a patch-work quilt. They sew together little tid-bits about God and life then call themselves spiritual. But what a cop-out. Just call it what it is. It’s not purpose. It’s not faith. It’s not even all that thoughtful. It’s comfortable. Lukewarm.
Others just miss the question all together because they’re too busy “living the dream!” (Not sure whose dream…)
So why not just answer it!? The question isn’t going away, so answer it. The older you get, the louder it gets. It’s easy to drown out amid the transitions of youth, but it gets louder when you have kids, and louder after ten years at the same job, and louder as you near retirement, and louder when your health declines, until it literally screams your name as you knock on the door of death. So answer it.
The longer you put it off, the more purposeless decisions, debt, scars, and baggage you acquire. So answer the question.
You are somebody. You are here for a reason. And you should be doing something about it. So what is it? Answer the question.
Matthew 5:13-16 – 13 You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 14 You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Support this post by sharing it with your people. Or get all Cross-Shaped blogs via e-mail by clicking the “Follow” button at the bottom of your screen.