Jenny’s got a job, a cat named Jake,
Thirty-1 candles on her birthday cake subsequent year
Believed by now she’d have a man
Two vehicle seats and a minivan
But it nonetheless ain’t right here . . . .
When LeAnn Rimes sang these lines, her angst didn’t have a name. But clearly she wasn’t alone. “Something’s Gotta Give” reached the quantity two spot on the Hot Nation Songs chart in June 2006. Thirteen years later, that feeling of I-do not-believe-I’m-exactly where-I’m-supposed-to-be lastly has a name: The Quarter-Life Crisis (QLC). Rachel Jones defines the encounter in her new book, Is This It?:
You really feel a tiny bit lost, a tiny bit lonely, a tiny bit like you are hunting for some thing, but you are not even certain what.
The Quarter-Life Crisis creeps up on birthdays and New Year’s Eves, and it rears its head any time you see on social media that somebody you went to college with has had a infant, got a promotion, or just had the audacity to appear satisfied in a photo. It is that need to modify some thing about your life, but getting overwhelmed by the choices. It is the uneasy feeling that comes when you take stock of every little thing about you—the men and women, the areas and the relentless routines of perform and washing up—and come across oneself asking, “Is this it?” (11)
This may possibly sound strangely familiar—but no—it’s not a midlife crisis, Jones says. “Unlike its older brother, the Midlife Crisis, the Quarter-Life Crisis has nothing at all to do with shopping for an highly-priced sports vehicle.”
Crisis or a Transition?
Even though the image of a 50-some thing chasing his fading youthful years, speeding away from duty in a red Maserati remains the stereotype, I’d counter Jones. The Midlife Crisis is not about a sports vehicle. Most health-related experts now recognize the Midlife Crisis as a transition, not a crisis. The Midlife Transition (or Crisis) is a equivalent search for identity and which means for the duration of a period of modify, which can bring about an chance for development (or a plunge to deep depression).
As a new widow in my 50s, I struggled with my identity, exactly where I ought to go from there, if God was true, and if something actually mattered any longer. (If burying the like of your life some 30 years also early is not a crisis, I do not know what is.)
So the Quarter-Life Crisis does sound familiar. But is it actually a crisis? Transition can be a difficult sell. But contact some thing a crisis and, at least as I comprehend it, it garners an outsized concentrate. To me, the Quarter-Life Crisis is neither exclusive or new. Even although it may possibly definitely really feel like a exclusive crisis, it is an encounter that is “common to man” (1 Cor. 10:13).
Is This It?
The Excellent Book Firm (2019). 208 pp. $12.99.
Sooner or later, most of us come across that adult life is not all its cracked up to be. At some point most of us take a appear at exactly where we’ve got to and wonder: “Is this it? Why did no 1 warn me that adult life was going to be this tough?”
Rachel Jones is 20-some thing, attempting to preserve it collectively, and prepared to say what we’re all considering. Irrespective of whether you are just feeling a bit lost or getting a complete “quarter-life crisis,” this funny, truthful, hopeful book reveals the distinction Jesus tends to make to the angst of adulting.
Anticipating these objections, Jones writes:
Men and women my parents’ age have a tendency to believe that my generation just requires to develop up. God thinks some thing unique: that we have to have to develop like Jesus. . . . Due to the fact persevering in following Jesus presents us some thing truer and improved than chasing something else in our 20s and 30s can. (13–14)
Persevering in following Jesus presents some thing truer and improved? Amen and amen.
Crisis or not, we shouldn’t dismiss the younger generation’s search for answers to some of the oldest concerns on the planet. As 1 old sufficient to be Jones’s mom, I could select to shake my head and roll my eyes and miss an crucial chance to empathize with a younger fellow-seeker. I’d then miss the possibility Rachel Jones does not: to point a younger particular person to Christ.
Successes and Shortcomings
Jones presents a warm conversational tone with a slightly self-depreciating sense of humor. Each and every chapter stands alone, but the complete book could be study in an afternoon. Soon after listing 31 motives why you may possibly have to have this book, Jones walks readers by way of 12 struggles that relate to the QLC and asks some truthful concerns such as:
- Has every person else got it improved than me?
- What should really I do with my life?
- I’ve got how extended till I retire?
- Is God even true or am I wasting my life?
Jones wraps points up with the all-encompassing statement that captures the gist of the QLC: “This just is not how I imagined my life would go” (199).
A single of the shortcomings of Jones’s book is that she heavily leans on encounter and significantly less on study, but she does provide concrete applications of the gospel to a 20-something’s requires. Each chapter points to Scripture that speaks straight to each and every angst. In the chapter on dissatisfaction, Jones’s conversational tone transforms into some thing rather beautiful: She lists nine qualities of Christ applied to the verse “to reside is Christ, to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). This book can speak to Christian and non-Christian, young and old, as a poignant reminder exactly where correct satisfaction lies.
Do not Waste Your Life
Virtually two decades ago, John Piper spoke to 40,000 college students and challenged a generation to not waste their lives. He study an account of a couple’s dream: to retire early and gather seashells on the beach. He known as their dream a tragedy as he envisioned what lies ahead for them immediately after their earthly life is carried out:
With all my heart I plead with you—don’t acquire that dream. . . . As the final chapter ahead of you stand ahead of the Creator of the universe to give an account with what you did: “Here it is, Lord—my shell collection. And I’ve got a very good swing. And appear at my boat.”
A generation of believers has due to the fact been somewhat haunted by the worry of generating such tragic possibilities. Maybe millennials are just in search of to be specific that their lives matter as properly, in their personal way. LeAnn Rimes hoped to come across which means in human relationships. Rachel Jones rightly tells us exactly where it is: in Christ alone.