By Lesli Nolen
I cannot believe we are already in June. I sat down to write this article and thought, “Wow- where has time gone?” It seems like the older I get the faster life gets.
In May my daughter celebrated her 9th birthday. Nine years old—it seems like yesterday she just a baby, so cute and sweet, but now she’s 9. She is half way to being out of the house. I don’t know whether to cry or celebrate. Maybe I’ll do a little of both. But it got me thinking how much life has changed— and how fast it’s changed— since I was her age.
I look back and realize just how good life was when I was growing up. If it wasn’t good, I certainly didn’t know about it. I thought I was queen of the world. I had what I thought was a perfect childhood. I had a mom, dad, sister and a dog. What else could a person ask for?
I grew up in a small west Texas town on a couple of acres where you could sit on the front porch and watch the sun set all the way down on the horizon. Life was grand.
There was always something to do. I either picked up rocks in the horse arena, hoed weeds, brushed a horse, shot the BB gun or rode my bike. I was very seldom in the house. Outside was the place to be.
I would dissect snakes, make mud pies, try out the cat food or build something with left over wood. There were lots of things to keep me busy. I’m sure there were times I pestered my parents and complained about being bored, but I don’t remember doing that a lot and I know I had to make up my own entertainment. It was not provided for me.
I know times and technology have changed since I was a kid, but the one thing I think that has changed most is people. It’s not all the new gadgets and gizmos that are making us change, it’s people who are changing. We have a choice to either let these things, these worldly things change us or we don’t. Life, better yet, society tells us how we should live, what we should drive, what we should wear and what we should eat. Growing up I didn’t have a choice. I drove what was given to me, I wore what was bought or made for me and I ate what was fixed and put on the table for me. And yes, we ate together as a family. We could pretty much do whatever we wanted to do after dinner, but dinner time was family time. We had some of our best conversations at the dinner table, then and now.
Back then cell phones weren’t around, and yet someone was always there when I needed them. I didn’t have a GPS device the first time I drove to college, I had a MAP. And my friends’ parents had the right to bust my backside if I got out of line. It was expected. We had values and morals—something I think is lacking in this wold the most.
Growing up I had a “drug” problem: I was “drug” to church; I was “drug” to family functions; I was “drug” to everywhere my parents went. I had rules to follow and consequences to pay if the rules were broken. We kids did not rule our household—our parents did. And I’m a better person for it.
Our group at Harris Avenue Baptist Church took another trip to Ragtown Gospel Theater in Post, Texas, and there heard Chip Polk sing a song titled “Independence.” This song speaks about the freedom guaranteed by the founders of our Nation to worship God openly and without restraint. Independence secured that freedom and if we are going to preserve liberty and independence for our future generations we as Christian Americans must choose to stand strong on the dependence of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. Not on the dependence of man.
I look at my daughter and the future that stands in front of her and all I can do is pray. I can’t bring back the 80s when life was good and Reagan was president. I can’t change the gadgets and gizmos of the world and I can’t change the pace of life. But I can give her the dependence of Christ, morals and values and a strong foundation to build on.
Time goes by so fast, and if we don’t stop and grab hold of it, it will be gone before we know it. Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Take the time to change a life. Take the time to pray.