Letter #620: I See the Up and Coming…

Dear America,

If you haven’t heard everyone griping about Miley Cyrus’ Build a Bear gone bad twerkfest, then you officially live under a rock. Rather than analyzing the VMAs, Miley’s issues and how you’re absolutely hopeless based on the types of things that were acceptable on MTV Sunday night, I want to tell you about something full of hope. You see, Miley is 20 and this has everyone freaking out about the up and coming generation. But let me tell you what I see up and coming in young adults.

I see the giving up of summer vacations, laziness and lake days to be part of something bigger than self.

I see turning down worldly internships and material gain to spend time doing things that will matter in 50 years.

I see excitement and energy like nothing you’ve ever experienced.

I see the most fun group of people you’ve ever been around.

I see encouragement that can help others gain the confidence they need to believe in themselves.

I see a selflessness contradictory to culture with a desire to navigate how to be different.

I see a willingness to wake up earlier than necessary to spend time in the Bible and prayer before a day begins.

I see teachable hearts longing to have strong work ethic but rarely seeing it demonstrated.

I see passion to create and be part of change.

I see initiative to be the change they want to see.

I see a desire for truth and wisdom to be invested and poured into their lives.

You see, I see things from a different vantage point than the majority of our country. I work at a summer camp where we hire about 1,700 college students a summer to come work with and invest in kids. At camp, 18, 19, 20, 21-year-olds become mom, dad, coach, teacher, counselor, pastor, friend, nurse and so much more to kids that parents have entrusted us with.

All staff
I’m telling you, these people are FUN!

Three weeks ago I walked out of the gates after another summer and upon SEEing the teachability, performance and investment of my staff, I walked away more encouraged than ever. The best part is I wasn’t just encouraged after one summer. Instead, I’m going on my eighth summer of watching hundreds of young adults make their summers about investing in others. And every year, the encouragement’s the same.

Session 1 Girls 4th of July
The 4th of July…America at its finest with these ladies!

These are the difference makers. These are the people I see up and coming. This is why I get excited and passionate about what lies ahead for us.

While public outcry occurred over the performance of a 20-year-old, rather than joining in the outcry I wanted to tell you about some 20-year-olds I know. These are the 20-year-olds who thousands of kids look to as their role models. These are the 20-year-olds who will prayerfully lead our country one day. These are the 20-year-olds I am proud to call my friends.

Rather than being upset about our future after the VMAs, join me in praying for the future. Join me in praying for the faithfulness and steadfastness of the students I told you about. Choose to come alongside this age group and invest in them rather than write them off. They, heck we (I’m not too old yet!), need to see people of faithfulness, work ethic, integrity, faith and aligned priorities. We need you. Be encouraged by this, but be challenged to get out there and invest. Don’t just sit around ranting about how inappropriate and immoral things are. Do something.

Praying for people of all ages to do something and to live out their beliefs actively,

Believer in the up and coming