“What is it with kids these days?” the old man said to me, “they act like nobody ever taught ’em a lick o’ sense!”
I could only shrug my shoulders and offer a blithe tautology: “Children learn what they’re taught, no more and no less.”
But the old man likely regarded me as little more than a child.
As a decorated veteran of a World War, the father of four, the grandfather of twelve, and the great-grandfather to nearly twenty, I doubt he would receive much in the way of counsel from a man barely into his third decade of existence.
Moreover, I mean no disrespect by calling him old. If a man of his age has earned nothing else, it is certainly to proudly bear just such a label.
“I have to be careful not to preach, I can’t pretend that I can teach…”
What simple platitude I might offer can scarcely encapsulate something as broad and varied as the cultural differences between a man with eighty-eight years of life and that of modern youth.
Such is the general pattern, I suppose.
Each generation arises into a new dawn, defiant at the ways of those that came before. As the young grow to usurp the roles they inherited, there is a sort of contempt for those that follow them at the wheel. Eventually, there comes a fear that all that one works for is being left to those that haven’t yet proven themselves worthy of the task at hand.
“The broken seats in empty rows, it all belongs to me you know…”
I see an ongoing pattern across generations in this culture.
As the philosophy and teachings of one Age are handed down to the next, it is sorted and digested in various ways. Some things are tossed outright.
There is no protection against distortion at either swing of the pendulum.
Whether conservative, Democratic, liberal, or Republican, there abides far-reaching implications of the ideas of our time… just as the ideas of my parents’ day have manifested in the lives my peers and I live. So too with that of my grandparents generation upon my parents, so on and so forth.
If there is any contiguous thread that remains in the continuous weaving of the tapestry of human existence, I feel that it is how one’s culture’s ignorance is borne out and how it might be saved from catastrophe by wisdom.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…”
Prophecy of Hosea, Chapter 4, verse 6
I believe that God deals with mankind in a two-fold manner: in one respect He deals with people where they are and interacts with them directly, in another respect he calls out and send forth individuals to serve, guide, direct, and protect His people in the role of ministers.
Often have I preached that ideas have consequences, and surely this is a truism that requires little argument. But do we see that these ramifications are not so meager that they end in the immediate?
So, what is “with” the children of our Age?
Consider first what you have taught them, both in word and deed. Remember what you were taught and what, of that, that you lived.
The problems many young people are facing in our culture are rooted in a profound lack of understanding and dischord with the world, its Creator, and themselves… as well how these three elements are to exist in rhythm with each other.
Writing as someone who operates within the culture of Evangelicalism in the “Bible Belt” of this country, I am seeing a woeful ignorance of the fundamental precepts of their own professed belief system.
As an obvious consequence, many are rootless and dashed by any stiff wind that blows their way.
Without an adequate foundation, ethics and morality can only subscribe to impulse, and one’s life becomes a great chain of whim.
To live and to act without such wisdom abiding in one’s life can only result in catastrophe and utter ruin.
“…and since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”