One of the most difficult things to get teenagers to do is to think about the future. They live in the now! As this new decade has started many have talked about what our world will look like in 2020. Many predictions about the economy, climate, and status of our country have been made. Our students don’t seem to care much about these gloomy predictions…they care about the next 10 minutes not the next 10 years. I’ve thought about the next 10 years, and I’ve come to the realization that all of the students we’re working with will be at least 21 years old by 2020, and I will be ancient. In the next 10 years they may experience: graduating high school (hopefully), going to college, getting a job, going into the military, getting married (scary), and maybe even having children of their own (even more scary!). What an honor it is to be part of preparing students for these major life transitions. What could youth workers possibly do to prepare students for this next decade of their life? What could we possibly preach about to get them ready? What predictions can we make to help them with their lives?
Christ has something to say about this. Luke 7:46-49 says:
“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
This passage reminds us that Christ is to be the rock, the center, the core of our lives. We do that by following his commands. When he is the rock we will be able to stand firm when life’s storms come crashing in. I want to tell my students that if you follow Christ you will get the husband/wife of your dreams, college will be paid for through scholarships, and when you graduate from college you’ll get the perfect job. With a clear conscious I cannot guarantee these statements. However, I can promise that if they practice having Christ as their rock, they will life full lives. Storms will come but their foundation will remain secure.
The future is secure with Christ. This is a simple yet transformational truth. We don’t know what’s in store for our lives or for the lives of our students. A gift we can give them as this new decade starts is to find ways to encourage them to place Christ as the center of their lives. At times it’s just a reminder to look up and keep your eyes on Christ. I recently had a conversation with a youth volunteer who said that when he was teaching his son how to ride a bike he was having trouble balancing. A bike “professional” consulted him and said just have your son look up and he will gain balance. Sure enough the first time his son looked up while riding his bike he gained his balance and started riding. At times our students and we ourselves lose our balance. When that happens may we look up at our author and perfector of our faith.
I am uncertain what 2020 will look like but I can promise our students that with Christ as their rock the next decade will be the best decade of their lives.