Listening to: Arcade Fire
Reading: The Catcher in the Rye
Writing About: Stuff Old Guys say to soon-to-be Old Guys.
I Was Once a Young Man:
Tomorrow night I am giving a talk called “What I Wish I knew in my 20’s”
to the young professional group at my church.
I am not going to lie, it stings a little to be brought in as a resident old guy.
I plan on presenting a ridiculous amount of information
in a very short period of time because, you know,
the kids these days and their attention spans.
I decided to publish it on the web
so they can have something to look at on their phones
while I am talking.
This was me then:
When I was in my 20s I wore the same outfit everyday (friends called it a uniform)
I had a laundry list of ridiculous haircuts.
I listened to the next what’s cool, and had my finger on the pulse of the popular (underground) culture.
I surfed 3 times a week and recorded a million hours of music onto an analog four track.
I was passionate and foolish, I was a hard headed know it all.
I worked hard and had a very hard time turning down any good thing.
I was a dedicated Christian, in ministry (and working at chic Fil A)
I was married before my 21st Birthday.
I heard about 9/11 on my way to a youth ministry class in my junior year of college.
Some uncategorized Opening thoughts for 20 somethings:
Stop taking selfies, this will be embarrassing eventually, I guarantee it.
take advantage of free time, you will never have more than you have now:
Have Tons of Fun
Do lots of Good
Pay off Debt. Stay out of Debt. Avoid debt like the plague.
Put your phone down, from time to time, just for a minute or a day.
go camping (outside) once a year
Call your momma
Write Letters to your grandparents
Albums (from my generation) that I’d like for you to be familiar with:
Quick Note from Rev. Fuller: these are examples of art that defined my 20s, that doesn’t mean that any of it is necessarily holy or helpful for you or I now.
1. OK Computer. Radiohead.
Commonly considered among the best albums of all time.
standout tracks: Paranoid Android, No Surprises, Karma Police
2. End Serenading. Mineral.
The defining moment of emo, when it was great. The absolute soundtrack to my life from 18-23.
standout tracks: GJS, &serenading
3. Clarity. Jimmy Eat World.
Before releasing the most infectious rock single of all time (The Middle) Jimmy Eat World was a bona fide indie band and made this perfectly listenable album that holds up in every way.
standout tracks: For me this is Heaven, Lucky Denver Mint, A Sunday
4. One Day It’ll All Make Sense. Common.
An unapologetically positive alternative to the hip hop of it’s day (though truth be told I liked BE better). Heads up, curse words on this one. Listen (or ignore) with discretion.
standout tracks: G.O.D., Retrospect for Life
Runner up for the hip hop category: Outkast ATLiens.
5. Calculating Infinity. Dillinger Escape Plan
If you were never into metal, you should probably just skip this one. But if you have ever liked metal, you need to be familiar with this ridiculously intricate and over the top perfect example of math/tech metal.
standout tracks: %43 burnt, Destro’s Secret, Sugar Coated Sour
6. Automatic for the People. R.E.M.
I promise it’s not boring if you give it a try.
standout tracks: Everybody Hurts, Drive, Nightswimming, Man on the Moon
7. The Blue Album. Weezer.
As a 20 something you may only know Weezer’s output after the green album. You may be surprised to know they once made an absolutely perfect album from end to end (their first one).
standout tracks: it’s only 40 minutes, just listen to the whole thing, thank me later.
8. Siamese Dream. Smashing Pumpkins.
You need to know Nevermind to understand 90s music, but this record was more important to me.
standout tracks: Disarm, Mayonaise, Today, Rocket
9. Evil Empire. Rage Against the Machine.
I was always a church kid. When I heard the self titled debut, I remember being totally shocked that so many curse words could fit on one album (like..who allowed this?). Evil Empire is more refined and definitely has era-defining cred.
standout tracks: People of the Sun, Bulls on Parade, Revolver
10. The Colour and the Shape. The Foo Fighters.
Like Weezer, you (20 something) may not know that the Foo Fighters came out of the gate as a truly remarkable and fresh rock and roll band. Now they, like me, have grown old.
standout tracks: Monkey Wrench, Everlong, February Stars,
11. Relationship of Command. At the Drive In.
For my money, this is the greatest punk rock record ever recorded. I have a long list of runner ups, but this one was it for me. Search them on youtube for the greatest live show experience available on the planet
standout tracks: One Armed Scissor, Mannequin Republic, Invalid Litter Dept.
Be a good citizen
Embrace your civic Responsibilities:
Think, Pray, talk politics with people you trust, and Vote.
Or, if you choose not to vote, do it on purpose and make you protest heard.
Causes, Causes, Causes:
Find out what you care about and do something about it.
Stick in for the long-term fight, don’t give up, don’t lose interest
You can’t know and care about everything,
don’t let that stop you from doing something about something!
Don’t assume your values / communication style / presumptions are universal
Learn to talk to people from different backgrounds in productive ways
without compromising your values
If you want to change people’s minds, convince them, or motivate them…
or if you just want real meaningful conversation about issues…
you have to start where they (the listener) are…not where you are.
Something about Art
create, don’t just criticize
yeah, you can tell the difference between good and bad art.
Enjoy what you enjoy, and let everyone else enjoy what they enjoy.
If you create, don’t be scared to create.
Don’t be paralyzed by your standards or others’ expectations, just make something.
If it’s terrible, make it again (slightly better this time)
Do you write? You may have noticed my lazy section title. Submit a better one and I’ll change it.
Or just get your own Blog, and write whatever you want.
Narrow it down
So you’re not the world’s best web designer / harpist / performance artist / kazoo player.
Make minor hobbies of things you’re not good at and enjoy them.
But put time into things you are good at.
Be authentic, not perfect
in art, and life.
Casting the Mold
Look For Patterns
You’re old enough now: your behaviors are being set into repetitive (potentially life-long) habits.
Are you always dating idiots? You may be on track to marry and divorce a couple of idiots.
How often do you drink, and under what circumstnaces?
Do you sometimes stay in bed for too long and stop calling you friends? How often?
have you continued volunteering for VBS long after it was your duty as a youth group kid?
You may love working with kids!
Do your friends always come to you when they need to be heard?
You may have gifts as a counselor.
…you may also have bad boundaries (more on that later).
Call it like it is, don’t be scared
Jesus promises that everything will be illuminated (in time). That shouldn’t sound like a threat.
Honesty is vital to healing, if you see bad patterns,
call them what they are and move towards healing
In the context of Christian Community and the Power of the Holy Spirit.
Look around, who is still hanging around after you are no longer a teenager or college student?
That is probably the core of your life-long community.
I hope they’re not idiots.
Change your mind when you are wrong
Listen to other people and accept their opinions and criticisms
Start at the bottom (but don’t stay there)
Don’t be afraid of growing up, it’s not the same as being lame
Yes it is. But don’t worry. Just be lame eventually.
Know Thy Self
Know who you are, be comfortable with who you are
God designed you and gifted you in a unique way.
Get to know your design and gifts.
Then use them, as yourself.
You are not your dad, You are not your boss, you are not your friends, you are not (etc.)
Don’t compare yourself or your achievements to other people’s
That will do you no good.
All of the good and bad feelings comparisons bring are empty and false.
Be the best version of yourself….the faithful, consistent, Holy Spirit empowered you.
Boundaries: You control your Yes / No, and your Yes / No controls your life
Can you tell the difference between your own baggage and the emotional crisis your friend is currently in?
You need to know who’s stuff is who’s and that starts with knowing your stuff.
Don’t take someone else burden as your own, and don’t hand yours off on someone else.
Bear with each other, but not for each other.
Cut things out
Time is a limited resource, use it wisely.
Say no to things that you shouldn’t be doing, even if they are good.
You’re not as important as you think
You do not have the power to break your friend’s addiction,
You can not heal their broken relationships,
You can’t fix someone else.
So quit it!
Be present, represent Christ.
Be faithful and kind
Don’t abandon friends in need, but don’t necessarily bail them out.
Movies from my generation You should be familiar with
(in priority order)
again, not an endorsement of content..just an acknowledgement of cultural importance.
1. Fight Club
2. The Royal Tennanbaums
6. The Shawshank redemption
7. The Matrix
8. The Big Lebowski
9. Dumb and Dumber
10. Office Space
The Preaching Part
Bad behavior makes bad consequences, not bad people
Know your theological rocks, what are your non-negotiables?
Figure out how to use your Bible
Take it seriously
Use it for your own personal benefit and devotion
Use it to make you a better and more loving person
Tip from Rev. Fuller: use Jesus as the lens for the whole thing. Stick close to the Gospels.
Your spiritual life should be measured in Faithfulness and Love.
then a little later and less important….. loving action
Performance and perfection are not words that apply to you spiritual vitality.
You just read my longest post. You are 15 minutes closer to being lame.
Check your hairline fellas.