I have most of the band family sleeping in my living room right now. Last night Lane asked an interesting question: Why aren't people our age satisfied with their work? Why are most of our friends going back to school, or still trying to figure out what to do with their lives? Most of you who read this know more about culture and philosophy than I do. Why DO we have this change in the way our generation views work? Our parents always seemed to be satisfied; even if they weren't, they did the same thing (usually at the same place) for all of their working lives. What does it say about us that we can't/won't?
Brian said that having access to the world (and, I'll add, to information) has changed the standard. For us, we want to be around people who think differently, who care about life outside of the aforementioned 3500-square-foot suburban homes and College Football. Maybe it's the influence of higher education, although I don't really believe that. I have friends who have not gone to college who have the same desire to think about new things, to DO something, and friends with college degrees who don't. I also think birth control and women's rights have dramatically affected the way people view work. Adolescence can stretch out as long as we'd like now that we have control over when we will accept responsibility. But none of those factors really encompass the issue. The bigger question is, why is College Football and a comfortable home enough for most people? Why can't it be enough for us? Why are some people stirred up by life, while others are content with status quo?
And into which category would you rather fall? There is beauty in searching for deeper meaning, but it's a frustrating and usually lonely way to approach life. There is comfort in status quo, but a sense that, like lemmings, we aren't seeing our circumstances for what they really are. Lane said last night the struggle is always between comfort and freedom. But some people don't even feel the tension; some people never realize they aren't free.
I don't think you get to decide your inclinations; either you're stirred up or you aren't. You can wrestle with pursuing comfort, buy a house and life insurance, but it will feel like a prison if what you want is freedom. Your gut (heart/spirit/soul ... whatever. I like "gut") won't let you sleep at night if you're ignoring the desire for deeper meaning. Likewise, you could travel around the world, be submersed into academia or genuine Christian community or the coolest urban life imagineable, and feel as though your life is careening out of control if you really just wanted to settle down with a nice house and beautiful children. I don't think you get to choose your gut reactions to life.
For me, what I do know is this: I am leery of comfort. I am motivated when Jesus says, "Wide is the path to destruction, and many will follow it," or the Psalmist says,"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to destruction and death." I'll probably have the same squishy brown couch and standard plaid bedspread for the rest of my married life. I've moved so many times that the process itself is its own comfort, its own stability. My future children (poor kids) will have to learn the art of making new friends, and my mother may never admit that she understands why I do it ... But I can't help but be stirred up. I may never be comfortable. I'd rather be free.