Massimo Bottura, a master chef and owner of Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy was awarded Best Restaurant in the World, the first time ever for an Italian chef.
However, Massimo’s success did not come without a price. He was ridiculed for his creative culinary masterpieces and misunderstood for the way he changed the appearance of traditional Italian cooking. He was able to transform ‘old country’ cuisine and masterfully create an unforgettable experience. For Massimo, it was more than just cooking, it was a work of art that flowed from his creative mind and from the passion of his heart. Throughout his many trials he recognized one key concept that every generation deals with: “Tradition does not respect the ingredients.”
1. YOU CAN NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM
A vehicle accident along the main highway in Bologna, Italy, prompted a well-known Italian food critic to spend the night in the town of Modena. The restaurant he chose to eat at was Osteria Francescana. He was ‘wowed’ by such exquisite delights. After a raving review Massimo hit the jackpot.
As a twenty-something, that dream that lives within you will ultimately emerge at the right time, the right place, and in front of the right people. The key is learning how to skillfully navigate through the seasons of being misunderstood, criticized, and where no one knows your name. The dream you possess will be the light at the end of the tunnel, and as long as you can keep your eyes fixed on the prize, you will emerge victorious in your purpose and destiny in God. Don’t ever give up on your dream and don’t ever allow others to talk you out of it.
2. WHEN BEING A MISFIT IS IN YOUR FAVOR
One of the greatest challenges Millennials face is being misunderstood, especially in the church. Tradition looks at you with a suspicious eye, especially if you don’t conform to the current expectations of the church model. I personally believe that God has a specific purpose for each generation as He pours out a different expression of His character upon them. This will accomplish a specific movement that shakes nations, pulls heaven towards earth and creates a tipping point for a momentous visitation of God.
We can recall what God has done through generations past, and in so doing, we place a specific expectation on the current generation to do the same. But that is an unfair request to make, because what God is going to do has never been done before.
You are misfits in the face of tradition and you are being prepared to create history.
David found himself among a group of people when he entered the cave at Adullam, 1 Samuel 22:1-2. They were the distressed, discontent and in debt. They didn’t fit in either. These were the misfits in David’s time. You’re not alone in your ‘differences, opinions and innovations’ and with that being said I challenge you to find like-minded people who share your passion for non-traditional-out-of-the-box encounters.
You are unique. Be who God made you to be and not some cookie-cutter sign and wonder.
3. WHERE ARE THE DANIELS, JOSEPHS, ESTHERS AND MASSIMOS?
We have placed a lot of blame on the millennials, but in fact it is God who has placed His hand upon them for a specific purpose and destiny. You are the Danials, Josephs, Esthers and Massimos of our time. Your gifts are for a wider audience and your influence will impact the lives of millions of people.
My wife and I have three millennial children, all married and all have a relationship with the Lord. They grew up in church, a vibrant place where the truth was spoken with signs and wonders following.
As they grew older they began to approach life a little differently. We quickly found out that we couldn’t create a look-alikes of who we are, but understood their desire to approach God from a greater Kingdom perspective. Their passions were to become more active in the marketplace and in the pursuit of their individual dreams and desires, as opposed to being confined to the four walls of the church and allowing what God had deposited in them to become stunted.
I encourage you to find your passion in the marketplace. Where you can impact the environment with the Kingdom of God by simply functioning and operating in the gifts and talents God gave you. If God wanted to manifest Himself through you, where would He do it? In ideas, concepts and innovations, in the world. Don’t underestimate what you are carrying inside of you. Joseph didn’t, and neither did Daniel, Esther, Massimo, and (your name here)
4. YOU EXPERIMENT IN THE SHADOWS BEFORE YOU SHINE BEFORE THE PEOPLE
As millennials, as the twenty-somethings, you are being equipped to serve a wider Kingdom that is set to invade and transform every sphere of influence throughout culture and society. You have a passion for community enrichment and social justice. You desire to see barriers come down between the world and the church; by loving the un-lovely and transforming communities.
You are positioned for greater influence in the world of politics, business, education, arts and entertainment and social media.
You are the generation that is being shaped and formed. You are endowed with gifts and talents that are being developed in the shadows, in the quiet place of your life, honed and sharpened for His service. You hold great value and great power that can change the world.
In so doing, you possess the same ingredients as the generations before you. You’re just creating a different dish that appeals to a more inquisitive, non-traditional appetite as you present God in a way they have never seen before.
It’s in the shadows that your character is tried and tested. It’s where you steward with integrity the things you have: relationships, finances, apartments, vehicles, etc. If you can be trusted in the little things, then you can be trusted with the increase. Your responsibility is this— discern the season you’re in right now and ask God to show you what He’s working on in your life. It may surprise you that it’s not a long list of items, but it will be the ONE thing He places His finger on that is a key to your breakthrough.