This is an imagined exchange between myself and a millennial I know. Most of the events following are completely fictitious and should be understood as such.
I come back to my office yesterday to find two of my employees eating lunch (the office has the microwave so I allow them some latitude) and one of the two, who will be referred to as Millennial Mel or Mel for short from this point forward, watching a YouTube video of some fellow railing on about numerology, cosmic intervention, name it claim it, god within you, diatribe while they finish their meal. The following is what I imagine as to how the conversation would have gone had I chosen to comment openly on what they were watching.
Me: What in the world are you watching on YouTube?
Mel: Bishop Whatsamattau. Talking about how the universe is organized and how there are specific numbers that if they didn’t exist the entire universe would dissolve. He is big on how you speak into existence the reality of your life. You do that. No one else. You should look at the jars of rice they spoke to. The one that molded slowest only had positive things said to it. This guy speaks a lot of truth about God.
Me: Seriously? You know, you can have a better understanding of God by studying His word on your own. I wouldn’t try to get my theology from YouTube. Auto repair? Sure. Theology? Not so much.
Mel: I’m in the word. I find stuff all the time that pastor’s say is this and I find it is that. You can’t hate on Bishop Whatsamattau. He’s legit.
Me: So how much time and effort are you putting into your personal study? Half hour, hour,more?
Mel: I try to spend some time each day. It’s not about the amount of time. It’s about what you read and what you do with it.
Me: You’re right. What you read is very important and if you aren’t doing anything with what you read then that is pretty much wasted effort. However, you have to put in the work. It’s easy and it isn’t easy. It really is something you have to work at.
Mel: I work at it.
Me: Nah, you don’t.
Mel: Sure I do.
Me: Nah, you want it handed to ya.
Mel: That’s messed up. How can you sit there and say that?
Me: It’s true. I’m not intending to be judgmental here. It’s just what I see from my perspective. I see a generation that wants everything handed to them in a nice neat little package. Most folks in your age group do. You’re used to life that way. Technology and social advancement have made you what you are. I’m not saying you’re lazy or stupid. You’ve been handed life in the palm of your hand. You have everything on a cell phone. If you want it, there’s an app for that. If you have a question, you say “Hey Google” or “Hey Siri”. You get your reality from reality TV and YouTube. If it’s on there you take it as gospel. You want the world to hand you health care, a job, nice place to live and a nice car all wrapped up in an easy to use format. Life has to come to you, where you are, at the moment you want it, wrapped up in a bio-degradable, no BPA, pre-packaged clam shell, ready for use, batteries included.
Mel: Man, you don’t know me. You don’t know what you’re talking about.
Me: You’re probably right. I don’t know much of anything. I’ve only lived through 50+ years of actual life experience. Fathered two children, worked, as in had a job, every day of my life since I was 14. Been married, twice. Divorced once. Known the love of a woman so deep it makes me weep to think on it. Seen my friends die tragically and peacefully, Traveled all over the U.S. and lived, actually on the ground for more than a week at a resort, in other cultures that are completely different from the American way of living. I’ve been flush with money and I’ve been within 24 hours of the bank auctioning my home on the county court steps. I’ve been the big man in the board room and the little man in the crew digging the ditch. Yeah, your right. I don’t know much, but I do know this. The decisions I made were my own. I got to revel in the good ones and I had to walk through the consequences of the bad ones and I’m still paying for some even now.
Me: I know one more thing Mel. I know that I don’t know God as well as I want to, but to get there, I gotta walk. Walk to Him, walk with Him, and walk for Him. Walking isn’t as easy as the world wants it to seem. No Segways, hover boards, or roller skates in the faith department. God loves you deeply. All the magic numbers and positive affirmation you can manage won’t enhance that or change it one iota. He just does, and He does it completely with nothing left out. So you go ahead and listen to Bishop Whatsamattau or who ever else you want to. It’s a free country and I can only make a suggestion. Don’t get your theology from the internet, and that includes blog posts to boot.
Now, let’s go load the truck.