The Hardest Lesson I Ever Learned as a Millennial

This Lent, we are called to remember that, just as we are dust, all fall short of the glory of God.

By: Natalie J. Plumb

Millennials have the most stress, according to numerous studies, and females more than males.

Millennials have more friends than ever before, Facebook numbering them in the thousands. But most counted are flaky acquaintances.

Natalie-J-Plumb-milennial-hardest-lesson-1Millennials are more available and accessible than ever before – open and honest on their “walls” and other social media platforms. But is the persona that’s drawn even real?

Millennials take risks every day in relationships in a world full of superficiality. Our parents’ marriages are never guaranteed to last. Dating in romantic relationships has been reduced to a “swipe right, swipe left” mentality. Friendships are easily lost with the aura of accessibility with tools like Facebook and WhatsApp.

When it comes to human relationships, as a millennial, I’ve only recently learned the hardest lesson I’ve ever had to learn. And I think it’s one we all learn at some point or another in our lives. Some learn it later than others; some learn it at a greater cost; some learn it without even realizing they have:

Humans are not perfect. Humans will never fulfill your expectations, hopes, dreams, desires, passions… They never will. They will try. And you will try to make them. But they will always fall short.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).

Humans are feeble. They can be unkind, dishonest, conceited, lazy, fearful…any number of uncouth things.

Natalie-J-Plumb-milennial-hardest-lesson-2As a millennial, I’m told and shown that I can be happy when I get what I want when I want it. But what I want at the heart of everything I am and do is for me and for others to not be feeble, or unkind, or unjust, or dishonest, or conceited, or lazy, or fearful, or dishonorable. Time and time again, I have trusted, and humans have failed me. I have trusted myself, too, and failed my friends. Time and time again, friendships have not met my expectations in simple things like charity, and this has almost broken my spirit.

But what I fail to see in the equation of “what I want when I want it” is God. Because the second half of that verse says:

“…and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24).

Thus, the hardest lesson for me to learn as a millennial, is that my security, my strength, my expectations, my hopes, my dreams, my love, my joy, my honor, my faith…all of these things and all of the virtues under the sun are not only met, but vastly exceeded, in Him and through Him. Not when I do what I want to do, or have what I want to have. Humans will never, ever in a million years, and until the end of time, compare to the relationship I have with Christ, the relationship I can have with Him if I seek, find and knock (Mt 7).

I think Jamie Grace and tobyMac hit the right chord when they completely transform what otherwise could be a beautiful love song about two humans into a beautiful love story about one’s relationship with Christ:

That’s what I’m doing this Lent. I’m concentrating on this relationship. God and me. When I hear a love song on the radio, I pretend that God is singing it to me. And not the feeling, but the knowledge and the joy I gain from this insistence that I am His and He is mine is nothing short of elegant, romantic and everything I’ve always desired in my heart – an epic adventure.

God and you – this relationship takes priority, nothing else. Engaged, married, single or dating, our relationship with God does not compare. We find security in nothing less because nothing less than Him will satisfy.

Lord, I love the way you hold me. Never let go. Amen.

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