I work with them most of my days. But sometimes, as much as I love teens, I have to fight disallusionment, wondering how things are going to change on the whole. I am a big picture person and when you see problems all over, it can be so challenging sometimes not to get wrecked by the bigness of it. You have to stop yourself sometimes, as to not get swallowed up in it.
Family conflicts. Kids in gangs. Dropouts. Fighting.
Despite the challenges, some bigger than others, that come with this unique time of life, it's rare that you come in contact with a young person who has something so important to talk about that even after he has died, his life mission is still being spread.
I was a bit wrecked by listening to this teen who lived life with a love for life, knowing all the while that this life was not the end. Clayton McDonald empowered others to do the same – to think about how incredibly short life was and that the thing to be frightened about was if you knew where you were going when you died. And he knew he was going to die. But yet, he lived missionally.
You know how you used to need reminders way back when to wear your seatbelt but somehow it eventually becomes more automatic? It's that thing you do because it makes sense and of course you wear your seatbelt; why wouldn't you?!
Isn't it amazing to see someone who didn't have to be reminded all the time to wear his seatbelt? He just seemed to put it on. Knowing life was good, he could take nothing for granted. There is so. so. much to be grateful for. He was someone who could say with enthusiasm, being in God's will "is the best!"
There is a sincerity about both his enjoyment of the gift and the raw, true pointing back to the Giver.
It’s always the Giver. Because even this life, this gift, wonderful as it is, isn’t the point. Even the people and stories and scrapes we acquire along the way aren’t the point. God is the point and He keeps calling us back to Him.If you listened to any of the short videos on the rebelution site about the life of Clayton McDonald, you’ve been blessed by this guy for sure. It is worth watching. That's why I wanted to write a whole post about it.
Our culture, as well as the enemy, want us to believe that we can have low expectations of the youth of this day. And, also, low expectations on living a life of purpose and what God made us for.
It's so, so easy to be distracted.
And, as Clayton said, that is what is scary.
It's simply not true that teens can't take a stance on things that matter. It's simply not true that they can't grow up learning truth. Culture may try to deafen Truth, but nothing can.
Teens can have a message. Teens can be part of a rebelution. Teens can share about dark places. Teens can be light in dark places.
Have you read the book Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations? It's by (teen) authors Alex Harris and Brett Harris, co-founders of TheRebelution.com. It's a pretty extraordinary book which describes how teens can use those years for how God is calling them at that time in their lives. Sign me up for this rebellion.