I can’t remember how many times I have had someone just a few years older tell me, “These are the best years of your life.” And I’ll admit, I’ve really enjoyed my college years, but I am only one semester away from graduation. So if “the best years” will soon be behind me, what do I have to look forward to? Is the rest of life just a downhill journey of making ends meet, climbing a corporate ladder, running a rat race, half-heartedly pursuing the “American Dream”? I hope it’s more than that.
In just four short months, I will make the big walk, receive a diploma and my youth (along with many other college seniors) will come to a crashing halt. I will enter the ceremony a goofy, mildly ambitious, obviously naïve college kid and leave a grown-up—seriously mature, contributing member of the “real world.” At least that’s what’s supposed to happen. It’s been a pretty daunting thought lately. What is the next step? As a twentysomething, I am constantly reminded of the “potential” of my generation, and the great call God has on it, but why do I feel like I’m already in over my head?
So many of my friends are stuck in the same place. We all want to travel the globe, find adventure, be significant—my generation wants to change the world, but right now we can’t even make up our minds. Sometimes I think that my generation feels like a young David, wearing armor that’s way to big.
When David was just a young guy, he was chosen to go slay the mighty Philistine. Saul came to give him the best king’s armor, but it didn’t fit. He was just a kid wearing an adult’s suit. But David didn’t need the armor; he didn’t need to look like a seasoned warrior. When he approached the battlefield he was mocked because he was “only a boy,” but in the end, that didn’t matter. David, the kid fighting in an adult war, slayed the giant.
This story has been an encouragement to me lately. I think it tells a lot about the “potential” of my generation. Was David in over his head? I’m sure when he was being mocked by a massive dude named Goliath that was threatening to give his “flesh to the birds of the air and the beast of the field,” he may have been having a few second thoughts. I know a few people who can relate to what he was going through. Now of course we won’t literally have to face-off with any nine-foot Philistines (at least I hope not), but there will be giants that stand in our way. The “real world” is an intimidating place.
The important thing isn’t that we have the right armor or that we even look the part; we have to realize that we are called. There is only one thing that can stand in the way of what God wants to do through our generation; that one thing is ourselves. If we look at the giants that stand in our way and let them intimidate us, then we lose. This generation has big dreams, dreams to change the world. Sometimes it may seem like the risk is too great, or our experience is too small, but God doesn’t need experts. All He needs is the potential.
We are young, yet we are willing. We know we are capable of great things, but fear stands in the way. God reminds us that we don’t need the armor of this world. God wants us to start our companies, write our books, make our movies, pursue our dreams—change our world. As an idealistic twentysomething, it’s easy to be naïve; but, in a way, that works to our favor.
Whether it’s graduating from college, starting a new career or maintaining a current job, the giants that stand in the way of our dreams are great, but the calling in our lives is greater. So next time you are challenged by circumstance, remember your potential, because that is what matters. And when someone does look at you like you are a foolish kid standing on the frontlines of a battle against giants, just tell them confidently, “These are the best years of my life.”