At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
- Matthew 18:1-3
Let’s see. I am writing this on Saturday, before the Super Bowl. Maybe when this post comes out on Monday, the world will have come to an end. Maybe the ones rooting for the losing team would wish it to come to an end. Maybe my life will have come to an end. There has been so much hype this week and I have not even seen the news, sports news, or television specials on Super Bowl Commercials – past and present. I am sick of it, and totally unimpressed.
When I saw this Scripture above, i thought about a few things that I have read recently, and I ponder. I do not wish to only accept Jesus with a child-like faith, I would like to hit the reset button on a lot of things in my life and in the world in general. Maybe my college professor was right. I am a reactionary, wanting things the way they used to be.
On Flag Day in 1954, President Eisenhower heard a sermon and was so moved that he ensured that “under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance. Think about that. The president of the United States not only attended church back then, he listened to the sermon and obeyed. Then again, it was Ike. Now they want those words removed from the pledge. Not because they offend anyone, but because ‘they’, whoever they are, want it known that we do not recognize God as supremely sovereign in this country or the world or the universe. The evil ‘they’ will go after other things next, any mention of God at all will become a crime, if we do not stop ‘they’ and soon.
About that same time as Ike was listening to the sermon, at least the same year, McCarthy lost his power and McCarthyism came to an end. What Joe McCarthy did was unbecoming of a Senator, and what people thought was un-American. Who was McCarthy’s biggest targets? The elite of Hollywood. Who is clamoring for a socialistic state? The next generation from Hollywood. McCarthy’s methods were wrong, but he saw what was happening better than most. When people have a freedom of speech, they might just say something that the politicians don’t like, but the scary thing is the one’s that listen. And the young adults of today, who were either very young or not even born when the communism collapsed… they want that socialistic government too. They’d sacrifice their freedom for a chance to have their student loans forgiven.
For my entire twelve years of grade school, we said ‘under God’ in the pledge and we prayed each day, and no one was offended. Yes, no one was offended, not even those who disbelieved. We had a right to agree or simply not listen to what came over the intercom. We were taught to act intelligently and make that choice. We’ve lost that. We were taught to act respectfully. We’ve lost that, too.
It seems that the music industry colluded to boycott the Super Bowl halftime show and Adam Levine did not get the memo. Over what? A non-violent protest that some people thought was inappropriate? Or was it a collusion to protest the collusion, or so some think, that prevented the non-violent protestor from getting a job? Might the NFL collude to collude the collusion of the collusion and just not have any musician perform at next year’s halftime? I remember when there was no Super Bowl. Life actually existed then. I think we were out in the yard throwing a ball around. Big football games had college marching bands perform or even mega high school bands – combining every school in a fifty-mile radius. Do we need a music industry telling us how to think, who can have free speech and who cannot? Beware, what you are hearing in the music may be offensive, but they have the right to say that. Lovers of Jesus may or may not have that right.
So, the price tag of the Super Bowl will be known by the time this is published. The money made on the Super Bowl may be estimated. (There is always those aftermarket sales of championship T-shirts and ball caps. The money is still flowing.) The NFL will probably make so much money that they could care less that some people did not watch because they handled the player protests wrong. (Okay, to those boycotting, it was wrong.) Others will have boycotted due to the NFL’s mishandling (in the boycotter’s eyes) of the players accused of domestic violence, spousal abuse, or sexual abuse. That is to say ‘accusations,’ not convictions in a court of law. Those who want to garnish paychecks or banish people from their chosen profession think the court system does not support their view or the courts are just too slow. When I was growing up, we respected our leaders. When we did not like one or another of those leaders, the word got out that the next election was coming and that ‘so-n-so’ was out.
Just before coming downstairs to write this, I saw the beginning of a television program about women in the faith on the Christian television station. I grew up when women had the right to vote, but there were very few women politicians, very few women professionals, and options were limited. We have since had women run for the presidency. But when I heard the intro to the television show, I did not think of victory for women, I thought of how the women of today have lost their femininity. They have lost grace and charm, gaining little in return.
It reminds me of Jerry Clower who, talking to a Women’s libber, described his wife in the lap of luxury and he turns to the Women’s libber and he says, “Mama don’t want you messing up her good deal!” And we have messed it up. We have thought that a higher payrate brings us prosperity. My pay increased about seven and a half fold over my 40 years in the workforce, and we lost buying power with each raise in pay. My wife and I had few concerns about money when we started. Now, we can squeak by, but to buy something? We cannot afford anything. God gives us enough to get by. He will give us extra as we need it. But women are still not making as much as men who do the same thing. I have always been in favor of equal pay for equal work. I have worked with female engineers, good ones, but losing the charm and grace to prove that you are tougher than any guy around? Why? When I was young, my mother worked, but most mothers were stay-at-home Moms. Now, you cannot afford to do so.
But do I want to go back to simpler times? No. Those ‘times’ await ahead of me on the other side, outside of time. Do I feel content with the adult life? No. Somehow, I still see life through that carefree kid who played ball by himself in the yard. To explain that would take a few posts but living on a farm five or more miles from the nearest boy my age – you would get creative, too.
But what I remember the most about those years growing up is that there was something called “Truth.” “Truth” has a capital “T” because it is absolute. It is God given. When you look back, how young do you have to be for the cynicism of this fallen world to fall away and only that “Truth” remains?
Now you know what Jesus meant in the Scripture above. We do not need to go back and change into that child. We need to have the problems, troubles, and especially the excuses of this world to fall away, so we can see the “Truth.” Jesus is the Truth.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.