I've been spending a lot of time with "young adults" lately...those out of high school, maybe in college, maybe not, mostly without kids and generally under the age of 30. It's part of the change in my job in the last few months as we seek to help the young adults who graduate out of the youth program to remain connected to their faith. We have gathered every other Sunday or so and have been reading through a book on faith. It's been fascinating to listen to the conversation, to participate in the conversations without feeling the need to lead them anywhere. Awesome.
What I've come to appreciate is that they are all there, not because someone is forcing them to be there or because they feel obligated but because they genuinely want to gather, talk and explore faith. We aren't all on the same page but there is a mutual respect and understanding that we are there to encourage and not condemn, to listen but not argue, to learn from each other and not be dominated by one personality. It's been so refreshing to be a part of this group.
Lately, in conversations about faith with "adults" (those not categorized by the definition) I've found that there has been more complaining rather than encouraging, more arguing rather than listening, more dominating than mutual respect. With maturity and a longer lived life comes more experience and a jaded view of life and God. There's less hope, more well, more sarcasm for lack of the word I'm looking for. I've gotten to the point that I try to avoid the subject of faith with some in my life because I just don't want to hear it anymore. Really. I get that there is discontent, that life is hard, that God doesn't make sense at times but seriously, I believe that there is always hope.
So, I've decided that I'm gonna just hang out more with those in the "young adult" group and soak in their voices. I will listen to their views, talk about God and faith and soak in the hope that underlies the words that they are saying. In the meantime, I will be hopeful that those in that other group will influenced by these voices and find hope in faith and God again.