Updated: Sep 6, 2018
By McCarty Maxwell
A close friend of mine told me some wise words one day after I lamented on how my struggle to find fulfilment in my new job and location: “Being in your twenties just sucks for everyone.”
That may seem a bit harsh, but it was the most encouraging thing she could have said to me. Without saying the words, she reminded me that I’m not alone in my struggle to find community after college. I started my first job out of college 14 months ago at Princeton University, about 1,000 miles away from where I grew up and about 700 miles from where I went to college. When people ask me how long I’ve worked at Princeton, my answer is usually a variation of this: “I have been here about a year. I’ve also been an adult for a year.”
The fact is, I have only recently been totally on my own, tossed into the world as a real adult with real responsibility. While in college that sounded so much fun. Then Sally Mae called, I had to start paying for my WiFi, and adult life lost its sparkle. As I looked at my life, and still do, I realized that there is honestly one thing that brings me joy, besides the Cajun chicken pasta that I’ve mastered.
My relationship with God has allowed me to find peace in this unique phase of life. In John 10:10 Jesus tells us that we are given the opportunity to live life to the full in Him. During the first few months of my adult life, I was desperately searching for a place to find this fullness that He offers. I dove into my work, which proves to be bottomless know matter how much I find myself tapping my keyboard. I searched for open gyms to play basketball, I stared at social media, I even started running to pass the time. Nothing seemed to bring me the joy I thought I would feel when I finally made it on my own.
Then came an opportunity to join a new church community. I had consistently gone to a church, but never plugged myself into the community, I sat on the back row and tithed to make myself feel like I belonged. But after finding a community of believers, a group that share the love and passion for Jesus like I had, I truly began to discover the fulfillment I had longed for. The interesting part about our search to fill this void within us, is that once we find the cure: Jesus, it becomes intoxicating. I find myself even more desperately looking for ways to serve Him in my new apartment complex, in my new friend group, even in my workplace.
Our fulfillment will never fully be accomplished through anything this world has to offer. Solomon, widely known as the wisest man to ever live, wrote almost an entire book (Ecclesiastes) about his search for something that satisfied him in the world. Spoiler: he never found anything that had the same affect that Jesus has. As a young person finding my way through this intricate world, it is easy to get swept up in the millennial age of mobility, virtual interaction, and fast pace. But at the end of the day, we have to look back and see that all of our actions are meaningless without God.
A wise man once said, “You only live once,” (Drake). Don’t waste the opportunity you have in this world on things that don’t matter. Now is the time, young people, to seek the fulfillment we need through Jesus. If nothing else, I have found that having hope in Jesus has made my twenties suck a little less.