Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mrs. Jonas

I discovered, sitting at a Jonas Brothers' concert of all places, that adolescence is the longest suspension of reality in our entire lives.

I watched one particular teenage girl who was screaming to the point of hysteria when Nick Jonas mentioned her home state, as if he was going to move into her parent's home in Texas tomorrow.

Watching her catapulted me back to a time when I WAS that girl, totally convinced that purple-socked, Mormon-to-the-core, much-older-than-me, Donny Osmond was going to come galloping in on a white horse to carry me away forever, as Mrs. Osmond. Imagine my shock and dismay when Donny married another Mormon and lived happily ever after.

Sadly, this young lady will be equally disappointed at some time in her life when Nick marries someone else.  But, for now, and for the foreseeable future, until he becomes "so yesterday" and she moves on to other heartthrobs, Nick is THE ONE.  And there is nothing, no one, nada, that will convince her otherwise.

It got me thinking that teenagers are just altogether another breed of human being.  They are a mix of pent up hormones with nowhere productive to release.  They are into single digits, such as "me", "myself" and "I".  They know nothing beyond the mirror in front of them.

They can simultaneously believe that they can conquer the world while holding their favorite wubby from childhood.  They are "fierce" and "ferocious" while being completely insecure.  They call attention to themselves only to find the embarrassment too great to handle.

In a nutshell, they are able to live in reality without being in touch with it.  They are in an Alice-in-Wonderland sort of world, with strange creatures of the opposite sex changing from completely repulsive to irresistible.  They see their own body's changing yet can't make the jump that their parents had to have gone through the same change to look the way they do.  They believe just about anything, plausible or no, that someone within three years of their age says, yet question every minor detail of a request made by someone with experience, education, and wisdom many times over that of a pimply-faced teen.  

And this painful process takes between two and five years.  No wonder so many of our kids feel like it will never end!  It is like having your head stuck in a toilet bowl over and over and over again but not understanding that you are going to get angry and wet every.single.time. 

I surely hope that sweet girl wakes up and realizes that the future Mrs. Nick Jonas isn't going to have a life of complete happiness and joy and laughter.  She is going to have a marriage, with all its happy, sad, boring, uplifting moments, not unlike the marriage sweet girl will likely encounter with some unknown, less-than-millionaire, non-rocker. 

Because, in the end, we learn to un-suspend reality and live in the real world, with all of life's ups-and-downs and ins-and-outs and births-and-deaths.

To quote Grandma from the movie "Parenthood":
"You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.  Up, down, up, down.
Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again.  You know, it was just so interesting to me
that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled
all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around.
Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it."
Here is to all the teens in my life, God bless you:  may you all look back on the adventure of these next few years and realize the roller coaster you were on made your life more, even when you were convinced that your parents were forcing you to ride a merry-go-round that did absolutely, positively nothing.  May you recognize that, while your body grew, your mind often lagged behind and that, oftentimes, your parents WERE right.  And, finally, may you realize that God held your darling little hand through all of this.  He even sent his precious son through puberty so he could understand your struggles, as someone who not only knows your pain, but has been through it and survived it as well.

Of all these lessons, I pray you learn the last one during your teen years.  The others can wait, but Jesus needs you to understand where HE stands in your life today and for the rest of puberty and for the rest of your life.

Won't you suspend your "reality" for a moment to consider His?