Finding Peace in a Tragic World
“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.”– Ecclesiastes 7:10
All In The Family would open their show with Archie and Edith Bunker sitting at their piano singing their song “Those Were the Days”. Edith in her high pitched nasally tone and Archie in his, well, whiny voice, would sing these words:
“Boy, the way Glenn Miller played!
Songs that made the Hit Parade.
Guys like us, we had it made.
Those were the days!
And you knew where you were then.
Girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
Didn’t need no welfare state.
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days!”
They were resting in a nostalgic state, remembering the good old days when things were “different”. If you followed the show, Archie had a hard time with the changing times and struggled with accepting the new age they were living in and moving towards.
The reality is we all struggle with this. I was thinking the other day: “Man, I remember when I could go outside late as a kid and not worry about bad things happening. I don’t know if I will be able to do that with my kids.” Then, I realized, uhm…that’s not true! I totally shouldn’t have been out late and most of the time I wasn’t because I lived in an area that wasn’t always the safest. If I was out late, I was with friends, in their house!
We get distorted views of what our childhood was like or what our lives were like and compare it to the world we live in today. Often times, we focus on the negative when we do this comparison. So, I am going to focus on the positive things that have changed since I was a kid, because this might possibly help get through some of the tragic differences that are ever present in our media and news feeds:
1) I don’t have to wait for my internet to “dial” anymore. Some people do, but I can actually be on the internet and my phone at the same time!
2) Speaking of phones, I can actually see who is calling me before answering. I don’t have to blindly answer my phone and regret it. I can decide whether or not I will answer a call! Take that “Mike” from some random travel company!
3) I can see what my friends ate last night on different social media sites! I don’t have to use my imagination when I hear they had a nice family dinner!
4) We have more and more kids coming out of poverty to discover their potential to change the world. (This still needs some work)
5) Young people own their future more by choosing to go to college, looking beyond their present circumstances and aiming for something bigger!
6) Our technology in healthcare has advanced so much that many diseases and health issues have cures and/or equipment to assist with prolonging life.
There is so much we can be afraid of during our time. We can look to the past and compare how things were “so much better”, but when we focus on negatives we can miss out on all the positives that are happening around us.
Yes, some of my list is for humor, but some of it is actual events we should be celebrating.
May we live with peace, knowing we have a great God who was with us yesterday, is with us today, and will be with us tomorrow. May we pray against the negatives and celebrate the positives in our world.
Maybe, just maybe, we can live in peace through tragedy.
Question: What are some events you can see as positive today compared to when you were a child?