The more I work with young people, the more I realize – or perhaps affirm – that they are, generally and overwhelmingly, terrified of having a relationship with the Lord. Don’t get me wrong. There are some that have strong spiritual lives and actively seek to know the Lord and his plan for them. But these are the minority.
When I really think about it, it’s not entirely surprising to me. The Church teaches quite clearly that man was made by G_d to know and love him in a personal relationship. In fact, it’s the very first paragraph of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.
Yet, the world, and society at large, seeks to fill this place reserved for the Lord with all sorts of stuff; whether material possession, food, drugs, or any number of other things, they try to find the fullness that comes with knowing the Lord by any means necessary, other than a personal relationship with him. But none of these things offer the infinite blessing that the Lord has to offer.
I’m not entirely sure why young people are so averse to knowing the Lord. I have some ideas, but that’s the topic of another post. What I do know, is that it completely incapacitates them in their willingness to know him.
Like starting anything for the first time, building a relationship with the Lord is much harder to start than it is to complete. Consider an athlete; getting into peak physical condition is much more difficult at the start than it is in the end. And once you get into peak physical condition, it’s much easier to maintain that it was to get there. It’s the beginning that’s the most painful and the forming of new habits that’s the most challenging.
My advise to young people is this: seriously consider the state of your relationship with the Lord. Do you want to know him better? Do you want to know his plan for you? If so, get over yourself; get out of your own way, and do it! People will judge you. Friends will abandon you. It’s okay. Are they really the kind of friends you want, anyway? And what kind of friend are they?
I’ll address actually coming to know the Lord, later, but the first step it to decide to get out of your comfort zone; be vulnerable, and trust in the Lord. Quit being a wuss; go big, or go home!