Millennials have a reputation for "ending" many things that previous generations have adored. Some things are simple such as landlines. Some things are good such as cigarette smoking. But recently, a social trend has sparked with research to prove it, Millennials more than any other generation does not believe in God.
I will be honest, I did not have what I would call a relationship with God prior to college. I grew up in the church but never understood what that meant. I knew about the Bible and I knew prayer was good, sin was bad but I didn't fully understand what it meant to believe in God. My friends in high school were either super religious or atheist, I was the only in-between. While we were all respectful and civil with each other's opinions on the topic of religion, I stood soundly in the middle and didn't know which way to lean.
I was comfortable with my middle ground and satisfied with knowing who God was, believing he existed and calling it a day. I didn't need to dig deeper. In fact, attending a Christian university made me a bit nervous. I imagined a classroom filled with people using God as an excuse or an answer for all of the problems of our world. I classified myself as someone who thought with their brain and considered my heart, so the idea of a conversation leading down the path of pure belief over facts made me roll my eyes. That wasn't my experience at all.
Throughout my time at my Christian university, I have experienced people who are truly an image of God and it changed how I view my relationship with Him. People who did not fit this stereotype we all have a bad taste in our mouth about, people who truly lived their life through God. I didn't know it was possible for that to become me until I let the Lord into my life.
As I have become settled in my current relationship with God, it's a healthier one than the one I was once comfortable with. It is not easy to love the Lord. It takes time, it takes patience and it takes trust. These three things are the three things all millennial, including myself, seem to lack the most.
We never have enough time. We are working two jobs to pay off our college loans. We do our homework while we're in class so we can enjoy our evenings. We are constantly seeking for time to eat, breathe or truly be present in our own lives without something calling at us in the back of our head.
We lack patience. We grew up with information at our fingertips. We have a question, we don't even have to type it. We call out "Alexa" or "Hey Siri" and the answer is given to us before we can blink.
We forgot how to trust. We've watched friends betray us. We experienced our families separating. We work hard for something we want more than anything else, but more than enough, it doesn't work out. We want control of our own lives, why would we believe that anybody else would have our best interests?
So, we lose our faith. Because it's something else to do. It's something else for us to think about. We want to choose which path we walk on without arrows or a map to tell us where to go. We lose our faith because it's hard to love and it's easy to surrender.
But when we lose our faith, do we lose a piece of ourselves too?
I have made the choice to love as the Lord has taught me to. I will love all people, no matter who you are, no matter what your past is and no matter what you believe. I will never tell someone they are wrong for not understanding faith because, at one time, I didn't either.
As a member of the generation who continues to lose their faith, I am saddened to imagine a world without religion.
So, Lord, I pray for my generation. I pray you to help us find peace in our hearts, the time during our day, the patience in our soul and trust in our relationships. Most importantly, I pray nobody ever lives in a world where faith is obsolete and forgotten.