The 90’s were great! I was born in the late 80’s so I only truly remember the 90’s and on. Back then pop music, grunge rock, torn jeans, and MTV were all cool. Oh, and don’t forget about the greatest show of all time – Saved By The Bell! Zack Morris was my role model.
We live in a crazy world. I know that is cliché but it is true nonetheless. I wonder if I would have been thinking this same thing if I was 29 in 1996 (that is, before the Atlanta Olympic bombing). I was only ten when this happened, and honestly I didn’t even know it happened until I was much older. It could have been the simple fact that I didn’t watch the news, and there was no such thing as social media. You either had to read the newspaper or actually watch the evening news. Being a ten year old I did neither. Oh how things have changed…
We are bombarded daily with just how terrible our society is. If you scroll through a Facebook newsfeed for more than 2 minutes, you will see plenty of randomness that will either anger, frustrate, or inspire you. I have come to the realization that this is such a waste of time. Social media serves the egotistical, self-aggrandizing world with likes and shares like nothing else ever in history. When I was growing up, we had to actually have conversations with people to let them know what was happening in our lives. Heck, we had to get pictures developed…my son will never know the struggle. Remember taking pictures with those awesome (terrible) disposable cameras? I can remember the bonus picture that you would sometimes get after you clicked past the “24” on the spindle. Those were the days!
Granted, I understand that growing up and becoming an adult comes with new lenses. You see the world very differently than when the world only consisted of your school and your neighborhood. I shudder at the reality that my son will grow up in an extremely different world than I did. I know I shouldn’t be fearful, but when I am completely honest that’s exactly the emotion I feel – fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the chaos that is America in the recent months. I pray daily that my wife and I can raise a son that honors God and loves Jesus. Daily I am reminded how tough that is going to be for him.
I grew up in the Bible Belt and thinking back to my elementary and middle school days, almost everyone I knew attended church every now and then. They may have been the Christmas or Easter only crowd, but I cannot recall times when I was embarrassed or ashamed by any means to say I was going church on Wednesday nights, let alone any other time. It was just part of life and people were ok with it. There was never a conversation that I can remember that had anything to do with Christians being bigots, judgmental, or anything particularly negative. Fast forward to 2016 – wow! Being a Christian is very different. We still do not know the struggle of the early church and to compare would be minimizing what the early Christians went through. But, when we consider the things that have changed in our culture over the last decade — from the definition of marriage, marijuana being legalized, cops being murdered, african-americans being murdered by cops, ISIS, and the list could go on. What will this world look like in another 10 years? When my son turns 18 and has the opportunity and privilege to vote for the next president, what kind of platform will he or she be running on? Where will America be?
You see, these are the types of questions that can ignite a sense of fear within me. Sometimes I let it get the best of me. I’m just being honest, for Christ followers it’s not always butterflies and lollipops. Just because Jesus saved me doesn’t mean I don’t battle against the flesh any longer. The fight gets nastier every waking moment. So here is what I have to choose to do daily:
- Die to self. Surrender to the Holy Spirit.
- Honor my wife above myself.
- Choose to read my Bible instead of the latest news article or twitter/facebook feed.
- Choose to spend time in prayer instead of complaining about my “first world problems.”
This is not an exhaustive list, but you get the picture. And trust me, this is not easy! I have to have this conversation with myself and God DAILY! Can you imagine what the Apostle Paul would say about the age we live in? After all that he went through for the sake of the Gospel, even to his death? I am thankful for God’s word. I am thankful that no matter who our next president is God is never surprised or out of control. Join me in not getting caught up in the fear of the “what’s next?” Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” There we can find hope. In that truth we can stand secure on a rock that will never move and a Kingdom that will never be shaken (Hebrews 12).