“Binge-watching.” It’s just one of what seems to be an endless number of things that are “trending” right now! My wife and I have sort of been caught up in this phenomenon. We will find a show that has like nine seasons and sit and watch episode after episode.
One program that I personally was captivated by in recent months was a documentary series about the 1960s. This was the era that I grew up in so I was naturally drawn to watching this series. And yes, having grown up in the 60s you can probably guess my approximate age and YES we did have television back then!
This particular documentary was narrated by a famous movie personality and featured many interviews from politicians, musicians, reporters and writers of that era. As you might imagine the series covered major events from the space race to the Beatles. The country was preoccupied then by the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Protests. Also the Sixties were stained by the assassinations of US President John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Perhaps no one really knows how close we came to a nuclear war during The Cuban Missile Crisis. But that decade finally ended on a good note when the first man is landed on the moon with bragging rights going to the American space program!
Being a musician I was most fascinated by the coverage of how music in the 60s evolved and in many ways help shape the trends, style and technology of music for future generations. Sometimes I really miss listening to those old “45s” on my record player!
So before I go completely nostalgic on you, let me get to some point here! As I “binge-watched” those 10 episodes of this documentary I was reminded of a few things. First, when we’re honest with ourselves, we must admit that who we are now was greatly influenced by the culture we grew up in. I spent those childhood years on a farm in VERY rural southern Ohio. I have to say I am one of the lucky people who had parents of Godly character who instilled in me the value of Godly living, church and work ethic. This brings me to a second point. I strongly believe who we are today has its roots in the influence of the PEOPLE who were in our lives when we were younger. As I said, I was blessed to be in Christian home where there was not a lot of money but plenty of love. I realize that not everyone has had a happy childhood. In fact, in my line of work (ministry) I have known plenty of folks who have shared their stories with me about how they were deprived of proper parenting and subsequent moral compass when they were growing up. Some were abused-verbally, physically or even sexually. But many have overcome the emotional scars of the past. It is true that life has dealt the unfair hand to many people. Life just isn’t fair. That was then. This is now. But for millions life still is not fair.
Looking back over my life so far I can see how blessed I’ve been. That’s not to say that life has been easy. When someone asks me how I’m doing I am prone to quip “if I get any closer to easy street, I’ll have to change my zip code!” But that’s not really true! My life has had its share of pain, grief and difficulty. And some of it was due to my own stupidity because of choices I made. Isn’t that true of all of us? But we cannot, should not and better not live IN THE PAST! Some of us would not want to anyway! That was then, This is now. And we are still busy writing the story-the legacy- of our life. For this guy, what has made all the difference is a relationship with God in Jesus Christ and an effort to live a life that reflects that faith. Like Noah of old, I have “found Grace in the eyes of the Lord!” Is it an easy life? Well, no. Sometimes it’s VERY hard to stay calm and just trust the Lord! Jesus never, ever told us that living as a Christian would be easy. But He promised us that it would BE WORTH IT! And friend, for me that’s the truth-you better believe it! And someday, when by God’s infinite Grace I make it all the way to the land of Promise, I can stand with my Mom and Dad and countless other Christ followers who are already there and say “this is now” because there will really be no need to say “that was then!”
Until next time,