You can’t mention the word millennial without bringing up age. The two go hand in hand. One defines the other. I started writing my book when I was 29 about being given a church at the age of 28. Currently I am 30 and for as long as I can remember age has been a huge defining factor of my life.
It was always, “Am I old enough to do this? Am I old enough to do that?” There isn’t a time in my life that I can remember where age didn’t heavily factor in to what I was doing or what I wanted to be doing. I couldn’t wait to go to Kindergarten. I was so excited to go to middle school and then high school. I was absolutely stoked to finally be old enough to have a driver’s license and then eventually graduate from high school. I was told I was too young to get married (I was 20) but that too I couldn’t wait for. Unlike most people, I didn’t really care about turning 21, but 25 was huge! I could finally rent a car without paying the extra insurance rate! When I turned 29, everyone joked saying, “Oh you’re 29 huh?” as if it was some inside joke. I didn’t get it. If you don’t get it either it’s probably because you’re younger than 29.
Apparently women lie about turning 29 over and over again. I guess it’s a thing, or so I’m told.
We put so much significance into age that I think sometimes we forget to ask if we should. Being a parent, all I want is a pause button so I can enjoy my kids’ ages. They change so much, so quickly, that I have started to hate ages. Really though, age is a number right?
Eighteen doesn’t mean you’re actually able to act, think, or live like an adult. That’s just an arbitrary number that our country attaches to the definition for being an adult.
Some kids are ready to drive at 16, others shouldn’t drive until maybe 30.
Twenty-one year olds are pretty terrible with alcohol.
The list goes on…
I sometimes wonder how different our world would be if no one knew how old they were. I know mine would be drastically different. Take for instance how I am introduced by those who call me their pastor. Almost without exception my age is brought up. I am introduced as a young pastor, a 30 year old pastor, or my personal favorite “yes, he really is our pastor” pastor. Now to be clear, those introducing me to strangers, those who call me their pastor all seem to think it is awesome that someone my age is doing what I am doing. For a pastor who is in fact young it is something I am honored by. I think it takes a lot for someone to attend a church and listen to a pastor preach all while knowing that the pastor is the age of their kid/grandkid/maybe even great grandkid (it’s mathematically possible I guess).
Still though, some who don’t know me, or haven’t met me yet, seem to immediately become suspicious of whether or not I am qualified to do my job just because of my age. I don’t think that’s fair…
It’s ironic to say, seeing as I wrote a book about how unqualified I was, but still, assumptions based on age aren’t helpful to anyone.
I have learned something important in the past few years. I can’t write people off because of their age. I used to have a very negative view of anyone I considered old. I had some runs-ins with the elderly that caused me to assume negative things about everyone their age, but that wasn’t fair. I have met some of the most wonderful people who I once would have done everything to avoid, just because of their age.
I’m glad I didn’t do that, and I hope those across the generations consider doing the same. I hope those who have been on earth a long time take the time to get to know those who haven’t. I hope that those who are young and full of energy don’t write off the sage wisdom of those who seem old and tired.
In this world, 40 year olds can be grandparents, 10 year olds graduate from college (google it), senior citizens still skateboard, 19 year olds become mayors (again google it), people live up to 120 years on this planet and millennials become lead pastors (that last one seems pretty ordinary in that list, huh?).
That’s pretty cool.