Saturday, September 26, 2009

Do Hard Things: A Review

Teens today…

That phrase alone is enough to set any mind toward negative thoughts. Teens act up. Misbehave. Do things they really shouldn't do. Flunk school. Don't work. Don't even keep their rooms clean, for crying out loud. Or, if one does, he is the exception.  One online teen-parent help guide suggested that teens should be expected to do one chore a day, make their bed every morning and clean their room once a week; but that parents shouldn't expect their teens to do ALL of those things, as long as they are doing some. Those are the types of thoughts that most people have about teens. It's what's expected of teens, so we all kind of groan and try to ignore it as well as possible.

Alex and Brett Harris are two young men - teens - who have refused to ignore it. Their book, Do Hard Things is a challenge to young people everywhere that there is more to the teen years than goofing off all summer and just trying to pass tests all through the school year. They take us back in history to read about teens who did marvelous HUGE things very early in life; and did you know that teenagers weren't even invented til 1941?

Their point is that teens are capable, MUCH more capable than people expect, to do hard things and take on responsibility, change their world for the better. First off they tell the story of the truly hard things they've done, not to brag about their accomplishments, but to show us that they don't just have a neat idea that sounds cool as a book title. Their theory that teens  are being suppressed by low cultural expectations is real, and teens like themselves can Do Hard Things.

The most encouraging section of the book to me was entitled "Small Hard Things". As an adult daughter living at home I sometimes look around at the amazing things my peers are doing in the Christian culture, and wonder where I can possibly fit in to all of this. The Lord has not lead me to amazing, world-changing ministry (yet ) or founding an organization or program that glorifies Him in some profound way… but there are many daily, ordinary things that are hard, especially because I am young and see the whole world laying before me, asking me to come discover it all.  It can be as simple as washing dishes. Washing dishes with a joyful spirit is HARD. Honoring my parents when I disagree with them is HARD. Sticking to priorities and not getting distracted is VERY HARD.  But with encouragement from the Harris boys and thousands of young people who are part of the Rebelution, and the grace of God, all of these things can be accomplished to His glory. Our culture does not expect it of us, but God does… that's why we rebel against low expectations.


Maddie September 26, 2009 at 1:44 PM  

I read this book recently, and I really loved it!!
Like you said, the section about small hard things were really what I could relate to. I thought that the book was just really encouraging and whatnot. :D

(oh, if you're wondering who I am, I am a friend of Krista's sister Sam. ;) )

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