Giant Babies

Posted on April 11, 2011 by

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Being a teenager is overrated.  Yes. It is.  Sorry.  If you are one of these sad souls that propagate the belief that the high school years are the best ones of your life, please stop.  You are wrong and your conviction that those years were great simply goes to show how long it has been.  If you happen to be a teenager, please also realize two things: you are stupid and hormonal.  Unless you’re being hunted by Nazi’s or slinging an AK-47 as a child soldier in Sudan, your life pretty much only lacks one thing: perspective.

In case you are wondering just how terrible my own teen years must have been, they were actually pretty great.  I had great success in my various academic endeavors, had great friends, few responsibilities, and a generally good time.  I had plenty to eat, plenty to spend, and got a chance to travel all over the world.  Somehow I still managed to hate my life to the point of nearly killing myself.  My parents didn’t understand me, limited my time with movies and computer games, and were obviously hell bent on making my life as miserable as possible.

In looking back on my teen years, the biggest thing I realize about those years is what most teens can’t possibly realize because they are teens: your world is tiny and self centered. If that sounds harsh, let me explain it this way: you’re basically a giant baby.  As a baby you dreamed of one day crawling across the countertops and drinking out of grown up cups.  You enjoyed the freedoms associated with diapers and the fact that, generally speaking, if you wanted to run naked through the house, the repercussions were relatively minor. Life was all about getting new stuff and sleeping. It was awesome.

Being a baby, you didn’t really appreciate the joys associated with these things because you didn’t know it could ever be any different. At two years old you had no concept of how hard the floor was should you take that inevitable nose dive off the countertop.  You did not pay for the laundry soap which would be required after your tasty mealtime baptisms were there not a lid on your cup.

As a teenager your countertops and sippy cups are just a little more sophisticated.  If only you could drive, or listen to you music, or hang out with your friend, life would be complete and very nearly perfect.  In preventing you from doing these things, your parents don’t understand you or the situation or anything.  Life accordingly blows chunks. Instead of sitting on the kitchen floor and screaming at the top of your tiny lungs however, we prefer to pursue more advanced methods of voicing our discontent: scowling and slouching and listening to loud drumming noises alone in our cave…I mean room.

As you well know, the toddler eventually discovers to his dismay that high flung countertops are actually flat and boring.  Likewise, the moment you go to college, or get a job, or move out, as soon as high school is over and bills arrive with your name on them, your teenage life starts to look a little ridiculous. Maybe it was fun, but it was also wildly unrealistic. Money has to go to important things like food and gas and fixing the stuff that’s always breaking.  Pouting will get you fired and you can’t blame it on your dad. It’s time to grow up.

The best thing about all this?  It never stops happening.   After awhile you get to be twenty four and all knowing and write articles on obscure blogs about how stupid you all were when you were little.  Then you fall in love and get married and have kids and you look back on your single days and scratch your head.  What were you thinking?

A few days ago I was listening to my sister share her heartfelt sorrow for a few of the girls whom she mentors. These beautiful teenagers were so enthralled with what tiny, fleeting, shiny things the world had to offer that they were willing to consciously deny Christ and literally ruin their lives.  They were being giant babies, convinced that the countertops were their born right.

Unfortunately this mindset isn’t limited to the young, stupid, and hormonal.  In fact, God’s people were doing the same thing in the time of Hosea, and like these girls, there would be a wake-up call.

And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.  For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. – Hosea 2:7 -8

Ironically, Baal was a god of prosperity and wealth.  The foolish people were pouring out their God given prosperity to get prosperity.  They had no idea how God was caring for them.  They lacked the perspective to appreciate what they had until they had wasted their gifts pursuing their gifts.   As they say, you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

If you are you’re still reading this, please, join me and take a moment and look around.  What is it that you have got?  What do you need to thank God for?  What’s really important?  Is entertainment or future or friendship your Baal?    Is it worth it?

Selah.

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