Saturday, November 25, 2006


I've recently been listening to a great series by Louie Giglio called "Boy Meets Girl". During one of the talks he made a statement that made me stop and think and has had me thinking ever since. He said that the sin of my generation is a lack of commitment. We want to keep all of our options open forever. Often this means keeping all of our options open so long that our options actually disappear and decisions are made for us because of our waiting for the perfect option to appear.

The more I thought, the more I realized that I've seen this in many areas lately. In several groups I've noticed that people are happy to be there as long as they retain the option to not be there. No one wants to take responsibility. No one wants to commit to the group - they want the option to back out if things start to go south or if something better comes along.

This evening I was re-reading an article in Relevant that is an interview with Dallas Willard. I've mentioned this article before, last spring when I was sick and feeling that that I wasn't connecting with my life. In the article Willard addresses this same issue with the current generation and how while they desperately want community, they aren't willing to commit to it.

But most of them don't know what community means because community means assuming responsibility for other people and that means paying attention and not following your own will but submitting your will and giving up the world of intimacy and power you have in the little consumer world that you have created. They are lonely and they hurt. They don't know why that they think community might solve that, but when they look community in the face and realize that it means raw, skin to skin contact with other people for whom you have become responsible...that's when they back away.
Wow. That just describes so much of what I've been seeing around me and feeling for myself. Lonely and hurting and wanting a community to turn to. However, community isn't something you order out of a catalogue. It's full of real people who have the same amount of hurt and brokenness as I do. Community won't solve my problems. Community is going to bring different problems. When is the right time to commit to a community? What's the right level to commit?

It's kind of odd to identify an issue like this. The obvious response is to quickly jump into something for the sake of committing. But that level of commitment requires lots of thought and prayer.

There's got to be a balance. Maybe someone from another generation can shed some light on this. I'm not sure any Gen Xers can see beyond our own issues to solve this. How do I reach beyond the "consumer world I've created"? How do I make responsible commitments? How do you shape community in a generation that can't commit?

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