From the time that I can remember as a kid growing up, my parents didn’t have much, nor did most of the parents in the small town that I grew up in. Most of us went to school on empty stomachs, didn’t have lunch for school and/or would watch as mom and dad didn’t eat dinner because it was just enough for the kids. I remember by mid school year, the boys would take the hem/cuff out of their pants so that they wouldn’t be “highwaters”. The girls did the same thing with skirts and dresses. Shoes were a whole other problem for us. Since most of us had only one or two pairs of shoes, we had to get the most out of what we needed them for. I remember the “talking” shoes where the front sole separated from the top of the shoe and it flapped when you walked, and who doesn’t remember putting newspaper or cardboard in the bottom of the shoe where a hole had developed. But the one thing that I can say that all of our families had was, a faith based household. I remember each Sunday as vividly as I remember what I am doing right now. Sunday mornings filled with the smell of breakfast cooking, dad’s shaving cream and after shave, mom’s sweet perfume and the chatter of the kids fussing because they didn’t want to go to church. This ritual went on in almost every household as far as I could see. Church bells rung and children’s laughter filled the air as the family unit headed to Sunday school and Sunday Service. It was an important day in our lives……just as important as going to work every day to put food on the table and a roof over our heads.
It was a start to a new beginning! We came together to study God’s Word and to hear a message from God that would keep us focused on His guiding principles. God had a message for us and we couldn’t wait to hear it. As a child, my thoughts were in a different place. I wanted to hurry up and get home so I could go out and play with my friends. Yeah, and the only way this was going to happen is that I went to Sunday school and church. As I got older, I realized that I didn’t miss a thing…….all of my friends were at church all day too! We thought we were fooling our parents by acting like we were learning something. Man, were we in for a rude awakening!!! We were being programmed, honed, fine tuned, whatever you want to call it, with a core knowledge of God’s guiding principles. The families that didn’t believe in God were few and far between. As a matter of fact, growing up as a child, I didn’t know any of those families. I didn’t even know that those people existed. Fast forward to today’s time…….I rarely ever smell breakfast cooking in the morning or see the whole neighborhood leaving to head to their house of worship. Church congregations are getting smaller and smaller; some are even closing their doors because of lack of attendance. Children get an option whether or not they want to go to church, but that doesn’t even make a different because parents aren’t going either. God’s core principles are being lost by the wayside in many households in the community. Working in the “fields” and loving thy brother have been pushed aside for let’s go to Steve’s to play video games and let’s rob someone so that we can have a good time. Never mind that they are killing in the process. Destruction of life is becoming the norm…….no guiding principles. I don’t understand how a family can get on television and say that my child was such a sweet living kid, they never did anything to anyone…..and their rap sheet is 35 pages of violent crimes. Communities are blaming it on lack of good paying jobs and opportunities throughout the country.
The title “Changing Times” got me to thinking; what’s so different about the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and even the 80’s? Most people didn’t have good paying jobs, some worked two and three low paying jobs, our clothes were in poor shape as compared to the “not so well-to-do” of today’s society. I haven’t seen too many kids with “talking” shoes on nowadays. Every kid had them in my neighborhood. Didn’t even know when our next meal was going to be. Who can recall a mayonnaise or sugar sandwich? Those core principles (God’s Word) did it for us, why not have them work for you?