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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Changing Times

I had tea today, with a lady near and dear to my heart. She is old enough to be my grandmother and has wisdom even beyond her years. She has experienced much in her lifetime and seen much and today she said "we are living in changing, tumultuous times." This coming from a lady who was a child during WWII and grew up in the aftermath. She lived through the Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War. Yes, those were changing times. Those were influential times. They made their way into the history books. Yet, today, she said we were living in changing, tumultuous times.

I have felt that way lately. I have felt that I am living on the cusp of a "new time". I have often wondered at what it will be like to raise my son in a world that is so different from the one I grew up in and, in truth, feel more at ease in. I feel a sense of expectancy. I wonder what is around the bend. I feel that I can actually see the change happening around me, but I don't quite know where it's leading. I feel a sense of loss. I can't remember the last time I was alone. I can't remember the last time I was unreachable and there was no worry or thought about it. It takes great effort to simply be still. I grew up in Montana. In the blessed state of Montana there are more animals than people. It is not hard to find yourself alone with your thoughts. It was also safe enough that if you happened upon a stranger during a walk alone, you could find yourself in easy conversation and even perhaps find a new friend. I knew all of my neighbors. Some were close friends, some were acquaintances, but I knew them all, and we looked out for one another. I had no cell phone when I was growing up. No one did. If you wanted to have a private conversation on the phone you needed to stretch the phone cord just as far as it could go and try to sit in another room away from your sisters prying curiosity. We all felt a huge sense of freedom when cordless phones came out. If we were lucky our reception might be good enough to even talk to a friend while sitting on the patio.

You couldn't flake on people during childhood. If you didn't show up when and where you said that you would you couldn't send a quick text message telling them you wouldn't be there, or that you were late. People's memories were better because you had to remember a phone number or birthday. Facebook didn't remind you. You had to know how to read a map or remember directions because Siri wasn't there to guide you.

I can think back and be sad that my son will grow up in a world where people don't know how to look one another in the eye. Where it is hard to find a place to roam wild and free and if you do, you need to be careful because things just don't seem as safe as they once were. My son will type up all of his school papers instead of writing them. He will ready many books on ipads instead of holding them (except at home, I will always have books) He will virtually experience what I had to imagine. But, I must remember that this is the time that God has given us. This is the season that we live in. We must make the most of it! And, how exciting that we live in a time where my son will take classes about things that didn't even exist when I was in school. I may not want to lose the old ways, but I can pass those on. Isn't that what is so great about traditions?

It is true that my son may face difficulties and hardships ahead as we can't see around the bend. But I can raise him to stand firm in conviction, to think, and to be ready. I can look at the future with excitement at what the Lord has in store. He does not withhold good. The only thing unchanging about life is that things change. I want to be ready, but not fearful, because change is coming and always will.

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