I Might Be Going To Hell In A Bucket, Baby, But At Least I’m Enjoying The Ride…
Good Old Days Syndrome.
We all have it from time to time, I suppose. The big hit in the Little League game. Inner-tubing with buzzed uncles driving the boat. Vacations. Prom night. The fraternity Luau. The wedding day. The births of the kids. The first home. The first big move. I could go on. We all have moments from our pasts where we look back fondly.
But there’s a dark side to those moments from our pasts where we look back fondly, if we’re honest.
The times you wanted to quit Little League for whatever reason. The things that caused us all to have baggage we all have from family. The “we’ll-turn-this-car-right-back-around-if-that’s-what-you-want” moments. The first-love break-up or times we couldn’t run fast and far enough away from high school. Same for college. The stresses and strains of planning a wedding. The moment in the labor room with doctors conferring in hushed tones. The hassles of buying a real fixer-upper. The tears of pulling away from family. You get it, right? Those moments of fondness we tend to look back on all have another side of the coin.
The Grateful Dead sang that every silver lining has a touch of grey. They might’ve been on psychedelics or otherwise chemically/herbally enlightened, but they hit the nail on the head with that one.
And, I’m intrigued by this reality…largely because I’m middle-aged and my peers are beginning to start more sentences this way: “Man, trying to raise children is so tough these days because the culture is going downhill so fast.” Or something along those lines, anyway.
Oh, it can come in any form.
Maybe it’s on how “music isn’t music anymore.” Or it’s obscene. Or lewd. Or leads to gyrating hips. Or long hair. Or shaved heads.
Or how movies/television is just so obscene these days.
Or that “our culture” doesn’t value the institution of marriage these days.
Or that this government is getting us away from the original intent of the Constitution.
Or that the Internet has exposed our kids to so much garbage.
Or that video games are causing unprecedented violence.
Or that our universities have become bastions of liberalism.
Or that (insert any organized political group here) are trying to eliminate our rights.
Or that (insert any organized political group here) is trying to sway our children.
I could go on. You get it, right?
Quick question: Do any of those sound like something you heard when you were younger?
We all heard the previous generation talk about how the Rolling Stones or Rhett cussing at Scarlett or the divorce rate or FDR had nothing on Thomas Jefferson or The Catcher in the Rye nees to be banned or the Wild West where Jessie James sat in a corner so he could prepare for rival gunslingers who hit the saloon or Kent State or the homosexual lobby trying to crush the institution of marriage or J.K. Rowling wants our children to all become witches…
…I could go on. You get it, right?
But what I’d like for all of us to do is to take a deep breath.
Just remind ourselves that the mood of the culture was, is, and always be, antithetical to the belief system of the Tribe Known as Christians.
It will have varying manifestations depending on the time period you’re living in. I mean, this ain’t the 1780’s is it? Or the 1880’s, is it? Or the 1920’s is it? Or the 1960’s is it? Or even the 1990’s is it? Can you imagine raising children at the time of the American Revolution–and maybe explaining to your kids the Biblical insights on civil disobedience? Or the horrors of the Civil War? Or what “flappers” were or why prohibition is all the rage these days? Or theories on a “just war” or “free love” or drug use? Or materialism?
It will have varying manifestations depending on where you live, too. I mean, this ain’t 1st century Ephesus, is it, with Temple prostitution being the main tourist draw (unless you happen to be living in 21st century Las Vegas, then you get a relative free pass on this one)? Or Europe in either World War? Or Chicago during Al Capone or Dillinger? Or The Wild West during the Gold Rush? Or the U.S. Northeast during the American Revolution? Or Dixie during Sherman’s march?
It will have varying manifestations depending on your social status as well. Try to tell me that peasants and serfs, slave or free, married or single, child or adult, oppressor or oppressed, rich or poor or middle class, soldier or officer, employee or employer, on and on and on, well that affects how you view the culture as well.
But at the end of the day…
…culture is what it is. In the time frame it occurs. In the location it occurs.
It ebbs and flows in varying degrees but it’s always antithetical to our Tribe.
You don’t have to revel in it or glorify it. What’s the Bible say? In it but not of it, right?
You don’t have to whine about it or denegrate it, either. What’s the Bible say?
Walk humbly with your God.
Because the good old days ain’t as good as we remember.
And in 20 years we’ll look back fondly on these days. And they won’t be as good as we remember, either.
And doing justice.
And walking humbly with your God…
…are timeless and beautiful and fit well with any culture.