Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Cult of Adulthood

Another pervasive perverse cult is bringing people into bondage, the mad-cap insistence that we must all "grow up."

Yet what does it mean, to "grow up?" Most adults would have a hard time explaining, as many of them struggle with different types of fears, just as children do. The nature of the fears may change, the articulation of diverse prejudices may incite deranged reactions depending on the person involved, but everyone of us, no matter what our age, will have to overcome new challenges.

To "grow up" does not mean to become isolated or unheeded of the needs of others, nor does it mean that we must face this world all on our own. In fact, the sophomoric childishness of some people who think that they can take on the world by themselves only exposes how simplistic their understanding of the world, themselves, and their place in the world has become.

Everyone of us needs to depend on someone, or rather Someone, greater than ourselves. We do not have the answers to every situation, to every confrontation, but we do not have to think through every possibility to survive. If we know who we are, if we know what our values are, if we know the One who defines us, then the most terrifying of shocks cannot shake our resolve to stand and withstand.

"Adulthood" can turn into an extension of "rugged individualism", which has created a nation of lonely conformists who will glom onto any trend or demonstration just to get by in the world. We are not equipped to be our own foundation, no matter how loud the existentialists may scream.

"Adulthood" cannot even mean "independence" if the word is to maintain any salience for those who have reached eighteen years of age. The world is a diverse place, one which even the best of parents simply cannot prepare us for -- at least to prepare us for everything. Independence as a function of defining ourselves exclusively has become a ludicrous proposition altogether. How can we write a book when we have not mastered the alphabet? The alphabet cannot be the product of one man, but rather the input of generations who took the letters from words and created the sights and sounds by which we speak to each other.

"As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4: 17) As Christ is, seated in favor and glory at the right hand of the Father, where every need is met and every prayer answered, so are we in this world.

True maturity, true adulthood, therefore, for the believer is full dependence by faith in God who sent His Son to love us, to die for us, and to live and love us here on earth!

We must stop pushing onto people a sense of complete rugged, Viking-like aloneness in the face of a world fraught with differences and dangers.

No comments:

Post a Comment