My Grandpa Pud was born in 1900 and my Dad was born in 1926 while I was born in 1955. The changes within this world and the way we view life is so different in my generation than in my Dad’s or Grandad’s generations. Things I take for granted every day such as in-door-plumbing or toilet paper were not available to previous generations. Having such a luxury was just not that common when Grandpa or my Dad were growing up. Water was heated over a stove that was heated with wood, coal or oil. Laundry was washed on a wash board or a wash tub or a ringer washer and dried out doors on a clothes line.
Or what about our mode of transportation, that has certainly changed as well. While there were trains and boats at the time of my Grandad’s growing up years there were few who owned a car. Farm machinery involved teams of horses and manpower even in my Dad’s growing up years. By the time I was born there were cars, tractors, pick-ups, Jeeps, and indoor plumbing! There was also something called a telephone, electricity, and radio and even television. Such items were rare in my Dad and Grandad’s growing up years.
Even within my own lifetime I have benefited by many new technologies and inventions. I wash my clothes in a machine that all I have to do is load and put soap into and then I dry them in a machine that blows hot air. I don’t even have to iron most of my clothes because the material is not all cotton as in previous generations. I wash dishes in a machine; I cook quickly in a microwave and keep food fresh in a refrigerator or deep-freeze. I no longer have to grow my own food unless I want to. I buy meat already cut up and ready for cooking. No longer do I have to buy a live chicken, bring it home and kill it, gut it, and cook it. Even if I did I would probably be turned in to the cops by my neighbors for cruelty to a pet! I can travel by train, plane, or automobile. I receive mail through the computer and can do much of my business by payment through the same computer. I watch television on the go through Wi-Fi and tablets. So many changes in the past 116 years since the day my Grandpa Pud was born!
So much of our lives today is simple in comparison to previous generations. We have so many time-saving machines and do-dads to take advantage of to give us more time. We have so many ways to get things accomplished quickly and with greater accuracy than ever before. We have it made in comparison to our parents and grandparents generations. Yet I feel less connected to family or my community than I ever did as a child. If you are honest you probably feel less connected as well. Why is that? Why is it that I saw in my grandparents and parents’ generation much less loneliness than I feel? Why did they seem to express greater feelings of satisfaction and joy than my own generation? What has changed? I mean my generation has so much more available to me, more entertainment, more theme parks, more movies, more hobbies, more places to go and do things. My generation has more toys to play with and more money to buy more toys to play with than previous generations. With all that we have at our disposal why does most of my generation feel sort of disconnected from life?
I believe that as our country turns away from God and the core values that come with being a Christian nation the people become less satisfied and more discontented. I believe that God is what holds families together, holds communities together, and holds nations together. My generation has placed such a high value upon possessions and money and prestige where many in previous generations placed a higher value upon family and church and community. Take a look at this.
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever, 1 John 2:15-17, (New International Version or NIV).
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God, James 4:4, (NIV).
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you, John 15:18-12, (NIV).
Every generation battles with God and every Christian in every generation must wrestle with these passages. I wrestle with these because I am constantly evaluating what is worldly in God’s eyes. Pride is probably the biggest battle and then comes lust. Lust is not just a sin of sex, it is a sin of anything that involves too strong of a desire. I can lust after foods like chocolate or coffee or possessions like cars and houses,or boats and clothes. Anything can be lusted after and dreamed of and sought after. And when I overcome that lust then I am hated by the world just as Jesus was hated. That is why I struggle and if you are honest with yourself you probably struggle daily as well.
I believe the reason those from my family and circle of friends such as Grandpa Pud and my Dad appeared to be more content and satisfied is because they had already won many battles against the world and the lust for things. After all by the time I was born my parents and grandparents were much older and had been in church for much longer. My hope is that my children see a deeper faith in me as I get older and that my grandchildren will see an even deeper walk of faith in Jesus than my children saw. That is always my hope to show them as previous generations showed me how to walk in newness of life on my faith journey.
Being content and satisfied is not a worldly concept. No the world wants us to be driven and to desire more and more and more. I think it becomes a vicious cycle where we end in destruction if we pursue the world. We see this played out on the stage of life all the time. People who worked so hard to amass a fortune or fame end their lives in suicide, drug over doses, or are murdered. The path of the world blessings ends but the path of a Christian continues beyond this life and into eternity. We can be content because we know there is more to life than the here and now.
With all the technological advances of the past 116 years there is one thing that has not changed and that is God. I don’t know about you but I am thankful that God never changes. Look at what the Bible says about this.
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed, Malachi 3:6, (NIV).
Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever, Hebrews 13:7-8, (NIV).
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts, Psalm 103: 13-18, (NIV).
As this old world turns and life seems to become faster and faster I hope that you can see that there is one thing that never changes and that is the love of God for His children. Be encouraged in that. I am.