I've spent the entire week working on our KIVU staff for the upcoming 2011 summer. It's been a real eye opener for me, and I think I can keep highlighting the plague spreading through today's high school and college campus.
Two different occasions this week I sat with students, both male and female, that expressed the reality of life at the University. Both…almost identical.
Even though there are people around, they feel all alone.
They both have tried to connect with the Christian community, but feel like no one is being real.
They both are wonderful people, not strange in any way, not socially awkward, both promising gifts, and both have potential lucrative careers ahead of them.
But one thing remains true…they both feel like going home after class it's just them trying to figure out life….by themselves.
I can't help but empathize as I hear the pain in their soul. They long for real connection with people. They want to trust, and be trusted. They want to know others, and be known by others, but there's something missing. There's something that just isn't fitting together right.
If I could magnify these stories, you'd see they are more the norm than the exception to the rule. We are watching a group grow up in a world that doesn't value relational intimacy. Sexuality is sold as a way to feel intimate with someone, but leaves many longing for the real emotional spiritual connection. It makes me think of that movie Pixar put out a few years ago. Remember WALLE?
WALLE is the story of a lonely Robot who's job is to pick up all the trash the humans left behind. They've chosen to live on a spaceship in outer space where Robots are consumed with production, and thye are consumed with techno entertainment. As you watch the clip below, I think you'll see what I mean. Hang on for at least 1:30.
You see, when we relegate our relationships to productivity and tech entertainment, we miss the real parts of knowing and being known. We don't have those adventures to share with one another. We don't get a chance to rejoice with those who rejoice, or even mourn with those who mourn. We don't have the opportunity to really get to know someone.
As much as I love using social media, it's where we get a chance to hide. We hide our facial expressions. We hide our tone of voice. We can delegate our feelings to a place where we can be sure we won't be rejected. It's easy! And it's eroding our humanity.
I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but it's why places like KIVU are so essential.
KIVU is our place out here in Colorado we've designed so teenagers can put away the tech life for a bit, and learn what's it's like to "do life together." There's no magic in the formula, it's simple. Teenagers are allowed to be who they are. They're allowed to enjoy others the way God created them. And, they're given opportunities to create a scrapbook of memories that will last a lifetime.
If you know teenagers, or you're 13-18 and you're looking for a place to connect with real people, check it out. www.campkivu.com. Come join us for a 14 day adventure this summer, and experience the freedom to know others the way God intended.
If you can't make it out to our place, take some time to invest in real relationships.
Put the cell phone down for a bit.
Get off facebook for a week.
Tell Twitter, you need a break.
And let's develop safe places where you can exercise the most basic human need, to know and be known by someone else.
My heart is sad for the state of the union at the University today, but my soul leaps to think about the relationships that will be built on the foundation of KIVU this summer.