In the middle of supper, my son turned toward me and asked, “What do you think of my generation?” An honest question, laced with hope that my answer might satisfy or invite open debate.
What do I think of his millennial generation, these precious ones born to Baby Boomers during the years of 1981-1996?
“I think your generation includes the smartest, most talented group I have ever known. Yours is the first generation whose native language is computer.”
He seemed pleased. A tiny grin settled in his right dimple.
Then I continued, “But I also think millennials feel sad.”
He nodded, and I saw in his eyes a hint of his own emotional angst. We talked about the traumatic issues that have affected his generation:
- The heart-stopping moment of 9-11 which defines the millennial generation
- The numbers of his friends who have overdosed or chosen suicide as a way out of their struggles
- The side effects of wars, how security seems unattainable
- The massive college debts and the impossibility of owning a home — financial despair
- The hypocrisy of those they trusted, leaving them floundering for faith, love and peace
Yet as sad as these bullets, a pathway back to hope is possible.
Barely a year ago, my son and I began a project — a book to present to millennials and those who love them. Our goal was to write an easy-to-understand manual about faith.
We included the basics: Who is God? How can we understand the Trinity? Why does God allow bad things to happen?
Yeah, not easy stuff. But these are some of the questions millennials ask and should ask as they seek honest answers.
I wrote each chapter, then my resident millennial son edited. He took out my Baby Boomer language and prodded me to consider the why of each topic.
Millennials want to know why. They demand authenticity. They will not, cannot accept a fact just because someone says so.
Each chapter was fact-checked for theological accuracy from a trusted pastor. Each word poured over, revised, prayed for.
Even the cover was chosen by my millennial — an abstract photo, the darker colors, block lettering.
This book is our attempt to reach out to those whose hearts are sad. We hope readers will feel less isolated, less confused about this divine One who loves them.
So UPLOADING FAITH: What It Means to Believe is now complete and available for sale. It may be the most important work I have done, certainly a project my son and I accomplished together.
That alone makes it precious.
If you know a millennial, if you are a millennial, consider reading this book. We wrote it because we care about you.
©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
UPLOADING FAITH: What It Means to Believe is available on Amazon and Kindle.