I remember when the word “binge” was associated with drinking and eating. It usually referred to signs of stupidity, depression, are just a lack of care about one’s self. But now these days the word neutrally associated with watching multiple episodes or even seasons of a tv show in one sitting. A few years back, before Netflix allowed you to stream movies and shows, I remember running to the nearest Target or Walmart and buying the next season of 24. My family and I would spend a designated weekend engrossed in Jack Bauer’s latest adventure. These days, I can save my $20-$40 for a season of a show and watch almost any anything I want for around $8 a month. Now it is a nightly ritual for most people to fall asleep not to their tv, but to a few episodes of Netflix. Find an episode especially thrilling or left with a cliffhanger and you can keep on going until you look at the time and find it is almost 3am and you’ve got work in the morning. (more…)
In the first few moments of the show, The Newsroom, Will McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, is at a town hall meeting. He is with a panel debating politics when the moderator asks a simple question, “What makes America the greatest country in the world, or not?” Will deflects the answer, but the moderator is insistent. Annoyed, Will goes on to give a passionate rant about his thoughts on the state of America, providing one of the most compelling moments in the entire series. This leaves me to ask a similar question, “Millennials, what makes you the greatest generation in America, or not?”
In the past few years there has been much talk about the Millennial generation. Most of it has been criticizing Millennials of being egotistical, narcissistic and lazy. But in the last year new studies have come out to show a clearer picture as to the state of their generation. I am one of those Millennials and like the rest of my generation, I too at times have felt confused about my life, my career, my purpose and how to make a living for myself. I have felt more helpless than hopeful. I have felt drowned by the debt that my college loans left me with. I have seen more of my income go towards debt payment than towards savings. I have found myself saying no to friends and family rather than yes in order to save money. In other words, like most of my generation, I have felt stuck.
But in all the struggle, we are still trying to find happiness in the little things. Unlike any other generation, Millennials find that they are willing to forgo a high salary for a job that gives more freedom, more community, frequent feedback verses yearly reviews and flexibility of working at home. More than ever this generation wants to have an impact on family, their children and their community and they are willing to sacrifice for it now, verses waiting for later, even if that means living it debt for many more years to come.
The ideal I want to propose is that the time is now to be more giving than ever. That may sound counter to what I have expressed above, but I am not talking about giving money to buisnesses and non-profits, but towards your co-workers, friends, family and community; putting your money and time where it matters the most. Millennials are the most educated generation ever, use your education for influence and change. Now is the time to start living for giving more and spending less on yourself. It is time to invest more intelligently in things that will enhance your life now but also create for a better future. Now is the time to start finding a way to create a lifestyle to help get yourself and those around you out of debt. I am confident that through community living, selfless giving, and smart habits we will rise up out of personal debt and become happier and more benevolent than any other generation to have lived on American soil.
We are not the greatest generation, but we can be.
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“Let all our employment be to know GOD: the more one knows Him, the more one desires to know Him. And as knowledge is commonly the measure of love, the deeper and more extensive our knowledge shall be, the greater will be our love: and if our love of GOD were great, we should love Him equally in pains and pleasures.”
How is this possible? Here are 10 ways we can grow in our knowledge, understanding and love of God:
1. We Need to Be in Constant Conversation with our Father
“That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer, when he should grow stronger.”
Sure, set times for prayer, but even your job should not hinder you from praying to the Father.
2. No Matter The Circumstance, Do All Things For The Glory of God
“That we ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of GOD, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed. That we should not wonder if, in the beginning, we often failed in our endeavors, but that at last we should gain a habit, which will naturally produce its acts in us, without our care, and to our exceeding great delight.”
Brother Lawrence worked in the kitchen in a monastery, no one saw or appreciated his work, yet still found joy in the everyday tasks.
3. Tell God Your Faults, Failures and Fears
“That in his trouble of mind, he had consulted nobody, but knowing only by the light of faith that GOD was present, he contented himself with directing all his actions to Him, i.e., doing them with a desire to please Him, let what would come of it.”
In the moments of struggle, doubt, or failure, talk to God about it. He will give you hope, he will console you.
4. That God Loves Us Because He Loves Us
“That all bodily mortifications and other exercises are useless, except as they serve to arrive at the union with GOD by love; that he had well considered this, and found it the shortest way to go straight to Him by a continual exercise of love, and doing all things for His sake.”
There is nothing you can do that can change God’s love for you. You can screw up over and over or attend church every Sunday, God doesn’t see the actions, He see the heart and He loves you no matter what you choose to do or not to do.
If there is one thing I have noticed about my generation, it is that many of us have our heads in books, podcasts, and videos on growth, self-help, and leadership. I am guilty of being one of those people. There was a time that I was reading book after book on self-improvement and how to be a better leader and listener. However, it was not until I took by head out of the books and put the words into motion that I started to grow in the areas that I was most passionate about.
I have learned in the past year that there is nothing to fear about trying what you love doing the most. Whatever it may be, playing guitar, public speaking, writing, singing, leading and more. I decided to put myself out there and risk humiliation and failure. I tried at spoken word, sermons, soccer (where everyone in the world seems to know how to play except Americans), leading, writing, cooking and construction. Along the way there were definitely times of failure and embarrassment, but out of those brief moments came a stronger and wiser me.
Seth Barnes says in his book, Kingdom Journeys,
“Discovering your calling is like riding a bicycle. You have to get it moving to steer it. If the bike isn’t moving, when you turn the handles and lean your weight into a turn, you won’t change directions, you’ll just fall over. In fact, you can only turn a bike when it is moving.”
In the past year my bicycle was leaving a fantastic job and the American life and traveling the world working at non-profits, religious organizations and churches. In the process I discovered some passions I had hidden deep down inside of me. Sometimes I did fall of my bike, sometimes I took a detour and went down a wrong road, but my bicycle quickly corrected itself and continued down the path of the pursuit of what I am passionate about (Check out my About Me page for more about my passions in life). Is your bike in motion? Don’t be afraid to start peddling, the rocks, scrapes and flat tires along the way will only define and shape your future.