Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Somewhere Along the Way

It’s so depressing to hear all the news coverage of shootings at military bases, bullying and stabbings at schools, bombings, murders, molestations, and every other unimaginable form of assault that human beings can wage against one another.  There’s always been evil and always will, but it seems that, in recent years, it’s become loud, obtrusive, and hard to ignore. The news programs interview experts, who discuss what can be done and their solutions usually involve more screenings, more laws, more money, and more programs, but I think the downturn in our society has been due to a combination of slow, gradual, and, often, unnoticed changes.    


Somewhere along the way, parents started thinking that, as educated, well read, open minded, high tech, professional people, we could handle this family thing on our own.  One day, we began to see the Bible as a little dated and written for another time.  One day, we showed God the door in our schools, because voluntary prayer could be viewed as offensive.  Over time, we showed our kids that being PC is more important than standing firm on your values and that speaking out about your belief in God’s word is the same as being judgmental.  At some point, we modeled that, sometimes, you have to go along to get along.  One day, we got lazy and decided our voice couldn’t make a difference and we went with what we knew wasn’t right, because it was the easy thing to do...besides, it wouldn't matter that much.  One day, getting the family to church took a backseat to getting them to sports or whatever else.   Somewhere along the way, Sunday became just another day as the other six days just couldn't hold it all.


One day, we made our kids the center of the universe, showered them with gifts for every little thing they did and required very little responsibility from them.  One day, trophies were handed out to everyone, games had no score, and award ceremonies were cancelled to prevent feelings of inadequacy.  One day, dance recital gifts started looking like Christmas morning and under the Christmas tree, well, it looked like Toys 'r Us.  One day, we wanted our kids to have the very best of everything, because that was a good reflection on us.  One day, the bar was raised so high that our children couldn't imagine doing without much of anything. Somewhere along the way, we quit preparing them for the real world, where hard work and patience are required in attaining things.

Somewhere along the way, parents became their children’s defense lawyers instead of their disciplinarians…shifting blame, making excuses, and working for reduced punishments in schools or wherever they got themselves into trouble.  One day, parents began to stand united with their kids instead of with authority......working to shelter them from any consequences that might arise from their mistakes.
   
One day, we got obsessed with our smart phones, iPads, and laptops and quit parenting and talking to our kids.  At some point, social media made it all about us.  One day, our image became more important than our integrity.  Someday, somehow, Facebook friends and Twitter followers took the place of real relationships and profile pictures became a mask for faces streaked with tears and voices that cracked with pain.  Somewhere along the way, we quit being good friends and started sending text messages to say “Let me know if you need anything” or "I'm thinking of you"....after all, we just didn’t have time to talk.  One day, there just wasn't much time for anyone. 
    
Somewhere along the way, common sense was replaced with procedure.  At some point, the fear of lawsuits began casting a dark, looming shadow over every, single situation.  One day, things that made no sense were accepted without question, because we were all too busy to care.  One day, the question of what we could do for our country took a backseat to what our country could do for us.  One day, the greater good mattered very little when compared with getting what was coming to us.  Somewhere along the way, "What's in it for me?" and "How will this affect me?" became the questions on most everyone's mind.   One day, Black Friday shoppers rioted and protested a store's closing due to the fact that they'd trampled an employee to death on their way in.  At some point, it came to be that no one else really mattered.     
     
One day, we decided that our kids could sit and play video games for hours with guns splattering blood everywhere and women being assaulted and we were ok with that.  It was just a game.  One day, Andy Griffith and Bill Cosby were replaced with shows that portrayed fathers as complete idiots and kids who were in total control of the household and we said that would be fine, too.  One day, television became raunchy with some of its reality shows and such and we just kept watching and didn't turn the channel.
        
One day, we quit teaching our children about the compassion of Jesus and we stopped raising hearts that were sensitive to the pain of others.  One day, we taught them that it was more important to come out on top than it was to help others along the way.  One day, schools implemented bullying awareness programs to sensitize the thoughtless, indifferent students that we were sending to school each day.  One day, because of crime and fraud, fear squelched our desire to help and cynicism rooted out our pity.   At some point, our sensitivities to other people's feelings drowned in cyber based communications.
          
One day, we found ourselves in the road all the time and too busy with all of our activities to cook, sit down at a table, and eat together.  One day, our kids' accomplishments began to feed our own egos, so we signed them up for every activity possible until our calendars were filled to capacity and had no room for much else.  At some point, we started eating meals in the car on the way to where we had to be next.  One day, we didn’t read the Bible with our kids because we’d gotten home so late....and then the next day, too.  At some point, we forgot what it was like to just sit at home with our family and enjoy it.  Somewhere along the way, we started wearing our busyness like a badge of honor.  One day, we were too stressed, too tired, and spread too thin to do the things we should've done.  
 
One day.  Somewhere along the way.  At some point.

It happened.   

Guilty. 

God, forgive me.                            

13 comments:

  1. This is so true and so well written.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So sad and so true. You said it so much better than I could. I am guilty as charged also.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh. My. Word. Was this an inspired word!! I practically stood up as I read it, fist in the air, with a whispered, “Yes, yes, yes!” in my throat. You wrote this flawlessly, articulating what we all feel is happening around us, to us, because of us. What a wake up call! Thank you for writing this. I’m definitely sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. PERFECT post!! I agree with all that I am!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you for putting into words what I have been feeling in my heart for a long time. You articulated it so well! I, too, am guilty. Thanks for posting . . .

    ReplyDelete
  6. So true! We all need a little perspective on what's really important.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Joni you have very thoughtfully and eloquently put into words so much of what consumes my thoughts these days. I am a new mom (my son is 2), and I pray each and everyday that God would give me and my husband the wisdom to raise him in ways that are pleasing to the Lord and not the ways in which this messed up world tells us to. Thank you for your honesty and boldness.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Visiting from Karmen's blog today and what inspired words here. You summed up the current landscape of our nation perfectly. Praying for opened eyes and longing hearts to rise and make God a priority once again. Even with an empty nest at our house we still fail...Thankful for God's great grace to allow us to begin again.

    ReplyDelete
  9. One day Karmen shared this blog and I came and I say AMEN and ouch, because I can feel the truth of it poking at me. Glad I came.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thank you all....God, help us to turn this ship around.

    ReplyDelete