Sunday, November 18, 2007

Emerging adulthood II

In going back for further reflections on emerging adulthood, I think that we need to start with a question: What does it mean to be an adult? Is it to simply to have one more birthday, to turn eighteen? At eighteen I could vote, join the military, be sentenced as an adult if I committed a crime. I could do whatever I wanted without the consent of anyone else, except, idiotically enough, enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner at the restaurant. And yet. I was not financially independent. There was still a lot that I didn’t know. I didn’t feel the sort of assurance and confidence that the child me expected adults to feel. And culturally I wasn’t expected to feel like an adult or to act like one. I didn’t expect to be treated as an adult.

Most of us, in making the transition from childhood to adulthood have very little useful sense of what it is that we’re supposed to be growing into. Is it maturity? Well, there are some remarkably immature senior citizens out there. Though maturity is certainly an element. And what about the various aspects of maturity? Physical, emotional, spiritual. What else is involved?

I think that adulthood is that season in our lives when we can reasonably demand, expect, and be viewed and treated as an equal—as an adult—by all those adults around us in society. We’ve given it some age tags: by this point you should at least be starting to make these adjustments, even if you haven’t finished them. And it’s a relational thing. It’s me expecting to be treated in a certain way and you treating me in that way. It’s younger people asserting their peerage and older members acknowledging it. Rights and responsibilities and priviliges are all tied in, but all they all stem from a certain basic recognition of the equal worth of each human being and how we give each other the dignity of recognizing that equality.

So why does our culture, one supposedly based on freedom and equality have so many problems with people making that transition, and what's the church's role in all this? More, eventually.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

WWJS to me?

I've been tagged in a meme by a good friend (thanks, Happy) who's decided that my not having posted in the last couple of weeks needs to be corrected. Never mind that my time has been consumed with travelling cross-country with my husband and three small children for his job interviews, and as a result, purchasing a house, securing a mortgage, starting to pack up our home for an interstate move. Life is feeling more than a little bit out of control. I feel like I'm making huge decisions without the time or flexibility to consider them properly. And oh, yeah. In all of this, the laundry still needs to get done, my kids need to get fed and I'm also burning a fair bit of writing energy on an ever more futile attempt to complete NaNoWriMo 2007. Don't know what posessed me to sign up for that one. The Holy Spirit maybe. Or my own cracked psyche. Or one working through the other. It somehow seemed--well, if not like a good idea, at least like something that God was for some insane reason indicating.

So then I got tagged with this thing. And actually managed to stop for all of about 30 seconds this morning and start to pray and sort of start to think about it and heard the non-audible voice of God. Jesus. That Jewish, bearded, blue-jeans and Birkenstocks clad Son of God that lurks around my subconcious. His speaking inside my head the way that characters from a book do when I'm reading or writing. "I am with you."

Christ with me. Leading me. I'm not alone in this chaos, nor is it simply random. In this insane season, Jesus is walking me through it. And, oh yeah. When Jesus first said that to his disciples it was together with the Great Comission. Maybe that's God's way of reminding me that all this feeling of being swept up is simply the way that I get to where God is taking me.

The person who started this over at Lord, I Believe asked everyone who responded to link back, so here's the link.