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it’s friday…and finally not raining…. November 2, 2007

Posted by abi in life.

yay!  It’s Friday!  I’m finally feeling a little better.  My throat was kind of sore on Monday, really sore on Tues., and finally on Wednesday I went to a minute clinic at the drugstore to make sure I didn’t have strep throat (thanks to the childhood radio drama Adventures in Odyssey episode about one of the characters dying from untreated strep, I will forever be scared into going to the doctor for sore throats).  I found out that not only did I have strep, I also had an ear infection.  So onto antibiotics I went….but still was at work, because I’d probably already made anyone sick that I was going to at that point.  Also it felt kind of silly to go home just because I found out that I was really sick.  That night my ear did start to really hurt, so I was glad I had already been to the doctor and had started meds.  I went into work around 11:30am yesterday – mostly because I hadn’t gotten much sleep and felt horrible when I woke up.  Several hours later and with a lot of drugs in me, I figured I was ok enough to go into work.  Still didn’t feel great though.  Still don’t feel amazing today, but everything is hurting a little less, and now I’m just feeling kind of drained and dazed.  I think I can rest up a little this weekend, so that should help. 

I just have to come up with something to do for youth group this Sunday evening….I haven’t had a chance to think about it much at all….which is really unlike me.  Usually I at least know what theme/scripture we’re going to be focusing on a few weeks in advance and may still have to come up with games/details the weekend of….but this weekend I’m going to have to come up with everything…fast…..oh well – it will be interesting.  Thankfully, I work best under pressure.  Not that that is something to be proud of – I’m really kind of upset with myself that I haven’t thought about it more….but I know that God will help me come up with something and it will get done. 

Sorry about this long, disjointed post…this is unfortunately how my brain is working right now.  I did want to mention this article that I recently read that was interesting…..

Getting a Life: The Challenge of Emerging Adulthood

In this article, the author talks about emerging adulthood and how it has changed in the last few decades to look very different than previous generations experiences of becoming an adult.  Not a ton of new information – but well written and makes good points on how society and the church should be rethinking some of their views.  Here are a few paragraphs from the article:

There is a new and important stage in life in American culture, and it is not entirely clear that the Christian church understands or particularly knows what to do with it. I am talking about what scholars call “emerging adulthood.” This is the time of life between ages 18 and 30, roughly, a phase which in recent decades has morphed into quite a new experience for many.

What has emerged from this new situation has been variously labeled “extended adolescence,” “youthhood,” “adultolescence,” “young adulthood,” the “twenty-somethings,” and “emerging adulthood.” I find persuasive Jeffrey Arnett’s argument that, of all of these labels, “emerging adulthood” is the most appropriate—because rather than viewing these years as simply the last hurrah of adolescence or an early stage of real adulthood, it recognizes the unique characteristics of this phase of life. These, according to Arnett in Emerging Adulthood, mark this stage as one of intense (1) identity exploration, (2) instability, (3) focus on self, (4) feeling in limbo, in transition, in-between, and (5) sense of possibilities, opportunities, and unparalleled hope. These, of course, are also often accompanied by big doses of transience, confusion, anxiety, self-obsession, melodrama, conflict, and disappointment. Many popular television shows of the last two decades—Beverly Hills 90210, Dawson’s Creek, Seinfeld, and Friends, for example—have taken as their point of departure the character and challenges of this new, in-between stage of life. I think it all signifies something big and serious.

Stepping back for a final view, then, how might we summarize the general situation? For most American youth, there extends between high school graduation day and the eventual settling down with spouse, career, kids, and house a very long stretch of time in which to have to figure out life. For many, it is marked by immense autonomy, freedom of choice, lack of obligations, and focus on the self. It is also normally marked by high instability, experimentation, and uncertainty. For many, emotions run high and low, as hopes and exhilaration recurrently run up against confusion and frustration. It is not clear how much emerging adults rely in this life stage on the religious faith and beliefs with which they were raised. In any case, this socially structured and culturally defined phase of life seems itself to foster an intense concern with what is new, different, exciting, alternative, possible, and hopeful. Commitments that would curtail the exploration of options are often avoided. Ties to the social institutions of civil society, including church, are often weak.

How does or should American Christianity speak to emerging adults as people and emerging adulthood as a cultural fact? How can the church faithfully speak the gospel to 18- to 30-year-olds? The answer is surely not for the church to fall all over itself to quickly reconstruct its message and practices to somehow become more “relevant” to emerging adults. But oblivious disregard for emerging adulthood and the larger meanings and challenges it raises for church and culture surely won’t do either. For starters, American Christians—parents, pastors, seminary professors, counselors, educators, and more—can simply become better informed about the emerging adulthood phenomenon. Most people probably have at least a vague sense that something has changed on the road to full adulthood. But more clearly grasping the social forces generating emerging adulthood, its typical characteristics and concerns, and their implications for a faithful church will require sustained effort. Recently published good scholarship, in particular the books discussed here, provides a very helpful start in that direction. Having engaged and digested their findings, we will be better positioned to carry on the important discussions that emerging adulthood should provoke.



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