I hate that sentence. No matter how it gets finished.
Because it’s typically a cue to launch into an unflattering portrait of Gen Y — Mark Sayers’ recent coming-of-age tribute being a welcome exception.
I’m part of Gen Y. And I’m fed up with social commentators, politicians and church leaders talking about me rather than to me.
Let me give you an example.
We often get told that Gen Y is wrapped up in technology, eternally connected but never really connecting — at least not with the people physically in front of us.
Of course, there are plenty of ways for the connecting we do through Facebook, etc to go haywire.
I certainly wouldn’t want to defend the rampant shallowness or Make Nice And Put A Happy Face On Even When Life Is In Meltdown-ness of lots of what I see (and sometimes contribute to) on Facebook.
And don’t even get me started on the bullying or desperate late night messaging with ill concealed Pay Attention To Me Or I May Hurt Myself-style subtext.
But perhaps the time we spend hunched over our keyboards isn’t totally wrong-headed — or, more aptly, wrong-hearted.
What if it speaks of our yawning hunger for connection — shot through with yearning for relationships that are close and real, in which we’re accepted and allowed to be ourselves even as we accept others and allow them to be themselves?
Or what if it taps into a deep longing for transcendence — for there to be more to life than the small, frustrating, boring distractions that so often characterise everyday life?
I’m more and more convinced that desires like these should drive us to the Lord Jesus as only one who can truly satisfy them.
Better still, having our desires satisfied in the acceptance, love, transformation and hope we find in him, is the only reliable path to genuine connection with others — both online and off.
For it’s the only way to avoid weighing others down with impossible expectations, and instead to accept and love them like Jesus as we point them to him…