To the Young Revolutionary,
Revolution is the cry of the young. It comes, mostly, from a good place. A young man or woman wakes up in this world with fresh eyes, not yet polluted with compromise. We look around and see inequity, injustice, pain, poverty, and suffering. There is an outrage which wells up in the heart and looks to those who have come before us and asks, “Why haven’t you done anything about this? Why do you let such injustice fester?”
Who Broke the World?
It is a right of passage all of us must take: to have our hearts broken by the world around us. For some, this happens very young with abuse or tragedy. For others, who are fortunate to grow up in strong homes, it takes a mission trip or self-education about the world around them. Either way, there comes a time where we realize the world is broken. At this point, we look at the adults around us, the “old guard, ” and we are tempted to judge them as cruel, apathetic, or ignorant. However, these adults were once children as well. As Billy Joel said, “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” We just haven’t put them all out yet, either.
Radicalism and Revolution
The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” – Wilhelm Stekel
Once the heart of youth is broken, it is a fertile soil for radicalism. It comes in many forms. At the most basic form, a young person will break from their family and community and become isolated. At worst, they become easy prey for anti-social groups, cults, and terrorist organizations. At the heart of revolution is a judgement which says, “My way is righteous, your way is evil. I have a right to do whatever it takes to stop you.” So much bloodshed in this world comes with a “righteous” cause.
Humility, Grace, and Reformation
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in.” – Greek Proverb
There is a third option between doing nothing and rebellion. It is reformation. To show grace to those who have come before and do what we can to bring out the best in others, not judge them for the worst. We should look at past generations with grace and humility and seek out the reasons they have not fixed the problems around us, and what problems they have fixed we just don’t see. To live humbly and labor to heal the world takes time, but it means we pick up where our fathers and mothers left off instead of tearing down and rebuilding every time.
Put Your Youth to Work
The gift of youth is conviction and energy. Believe me, you will need it. This world needs a lot of work. The key here is “work.” We don’t need war. Starting small in your church, your community, and your neighborhood is better than trying to topple “the man.” Yes, for some of us our homes and churches may be too hostile to grow in. But let’s not leave out of spite, let’s leave to grow strong in hopes we may bring grace and mercy back with us, Lord willing.
Let us be bold but not brash, convicted but not condemning. Nothing is more powerful than truth marching alongside grace. An act of kindness is louder than a protest sign. Christians working together in their community is more powerful than any rally. After all, reformation may take decades, but revolution draws blood in a day.
“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” – Luke 16:10
Yaholo Hoyt is a practical mystic, a passionate writer, a paltry poet, and an old-school Jesus freak. You can find him at http://yaholo.net or read his blog at http://practicalchristianmysticism.blogspot.com