Radiohead is one of my favorite bands. After years of avoiding their melodic underpinnings, my friend Darren reintroduced me to the band, and ever since then I've been captivated by their musical creativity. One of my favorite songs is Everything in Its' Right Place off their KID A album. Not only am I drawn to this musicality of this tune, but the subject matter of this song is also particularly intriguing. Bonny says that I'm a little OCD in some of my behaviors. I like to do things in a certain way. Perhaps this is why I'm drawn to this song.
In any case, I think the subject matter of this song sums up a deep longing that exists within each one of us...expectation. Each of us have them, and each of us wrestle when things don't play out according to our though process, intent or design. Let me give you an example of what I mean.
This morning I spoke with the mother of a student who shared with me about the brokenness in their family. Because of some of the poor choices made by this student's parent, his world has been affected in a negative capacity...his expectations have been shattered. It seems to happen when we hope that people are a certain way and then they turn out to be a different one; meaning that we hope to see integrity and honesty but when we come face to face with dishonesty our world view is negatively affected.
I think we underestimate the significance of this kind of occurrence. Each of us has a deep longing to belong somewhere, to having meaning and to find purpose. At times we look for these needs to be met in our surroundings through a variety of earthly relational connections, and it's in this practice and habit that the larger issue exists. When we allow our identity to be COMPLETELY informed by the people around us instead of looking to Christ, when our expectations aren't met, our world comes crashing down around us.
Sounds easy doesn't it? Well...it's not. To view life in this new way involves us thinking completely counter-culturally to our society. And the younger in age a person is, the more difficult this is to do. Children look to their parents to provide them with their basic needs (emotional, physical, spiritual & intellectual). When they don't find them through this relational connection, that is where chaos enters the picture. Regardless of what we might think or believe about youth, they will always look to their parents first to meet these needs. Rebellion occurs when youth see practices, habits and behaviors that contradict their parents' instruction (i.e. when their expectations are not met).
If we could focus on re-establishing the family relational connection, the stability in the lives of youth would increase and when brokenness happens the foundation of their identity may not be severely hindered like our current reality dictates. God created the family for a purpose, and without everything in its' right place, our youth will continue to flounder in their search for identity formation, purpose, meaning and belonging.
How can we navigate through the uncertainty of conflict in relationships? Where do we start?
This post also appears on Canadian Youth Worker here. If you study the life of Jesus you will not only discover a God-man full of inte...
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