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the polarization of people in my age group

I have resurfaced here again. It seems the weeks just sort of float out of my grip and suddenly it has been a long time since I have written. I guess that is good in some ways because I am certainly staying considerably more busy than I was when I first got here. The needs of people take first priority for me, and my office at the Eubank campus is certainly not set up at all or I would have written long ago out there being terribly bored at some point or another.

As far as my job goes, I feel like I do little but when I start listing it out it is turning out to actually be a lot. I think the most exciting thing for me is that I'm leading a Bible study with the group which started yesterday. That is so much fun for me and I think I really picked a very good study to do. It goes through the Apostles' Creed and explains what that means as being a basis for Christian thinking. I can agree with that. :-)

I've been doing a whole lot of running around, and working and living in two places hasn't been too easy. Thankfully the living in 2 places is done until January starting Thursday. Though I've been asked to do some more housesitting the week of Thanksgiving, I think I just need a little break to recooperate.

So on to the topic of this post... I've been reflecting on my struggle to find like-minded individuals within my age group to converse with. I made a statement of admittance this week to my friend Karin that I am struggling with being lonely. I don't really feel like I fit in very well with the people at counterculture because I know that my theology differs greatly from them as well as a lot of my stances on issues both social issues and even many political issues. Though Central UMC is considerably more in my end of the field as far as those things are concerned, I lack people in my age group to hang out with and feel connected to. This isn't a huge problem because there are plenty of people 10 years older than me that I agree with and can talk with, but they are in different life stages than I am. Most are married, have kids, etc. So I got to thinking about the people in my age group. Say anywhere from 20-30. This decade to me seems to be one of the more polarized decades. At least where I am here, (and evidence of that being the case elsewhere) I see two extremes, and very little in the way of a center path. There seem to be people who are either far right, ultra-conservative, often (but certainly not always) very condemning of anything "worldly", and completely concerned with how to convert people... save them rather.

On the other side, there seem to be people who are completely disconnected from the church, are often wonderful people, but those who see some of the hypocrisy within organized religion and run screaming. Often it is people like this (at least ones that aren't connect deeply with the idea of nihilism) who end up making the biggest difference for others. They are often labeled as spiritual but not religious, agnostic, or atheist. I often want to embrace that idea if only to distance myself from those who don't seem to pay any attention to Christ's greatest commands. The problem here is the call for community. It is SO very important to me to be a part of community of Christ because without that connection we fall into the traps of forgetting the significance of trying to make this world a little bit better before we die and join God's kingdom in heaven. We are God's kingdom on earth, and if we do not try to make God's kingdom better in everything that we do, ultimately we are not glorifying God.

I think it is this polarization that is causing me so much trouble in finding people that I can truly connect with. I don't really know where to start. I've started with those I disagree with but are my age. I'm not getting that connection because I know that fundamentally, my thoughts and beliefs are strikingly distant from those I worship with. I'm trying so much to look beyond those lines but motivation for our faith is important to me. I want some people that I can connect with, perhaps just have coffee with now and again, go to movies with, anything. Finding that here is proving difficult, but I am certainly committed to the continuation of my search for that. Any ideas? Or am I just out of luck in the search for finding like minded people in my age group?
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3 Comments:

Laura,

I can think back (a long time ago) and trying to find friends my own age after getting out of college. You are right, it is not easy - but I did have one outlet. I got involved with one of the local major political parties.

I nosed around and found out where they were meeting, went - and found peeople my age with like mind. Seems that younger people enjoy gettting involved in community that way. If you findsuch a group and they are a bunch of old cogers, then run away like the wind. lol You might find some people there with like minds, etc.

Anyway, thanks for the post. And keep up the good work you are doing.

John Walker

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:43 PM  

I totally understand those feelings. Its actually one of the reasons that I originally thought about going to grad school because I knew there would be lots of people my age. Of course, even when I got here it was still tough to find people who are like me (I'm not quite in that 2nd group anymore). Of course, I'm still struggling with it a little since I'm not even in the same place in life as some of my friends my age.

I wonder if you might take advantage of the college near by...

Anyway, this post makes me miss you! Have fun! I hope our paths cross soon

By Blogger JP, at 10:49 AM  

as far as I can tell you and I are on the same page, but not the same age. Sorry, I would be 25 again if I could.

By Blogger Kel aka Daddyo, at 6:45 PM  

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