I look at my son, two and a half years old, and I see awe and wonder every time he looks around. We go outside and see a plane, he beams, tilts his head all the way back and points. We go to the park and walk a winding path and he’ll spend most of his time positioning himself, adjusting then jumping up and landing with a dramatic “boom!” as if he has crossed a tremendous chasm. He’ll chatter to people in the park and even break into song if he’s in the mood, dead center of a supermarket.
It’s that complete and unadulterated innocence that really tugs at the heart strings. Pearl Jam had a song a few years back with this lyric that stuck in my head: “If I knew now what I knew then”. That innocence, that sense of awe and wonder, to be grasped today by my (almost) mature mind and tainted thinking–man that would be great.
This world is getting darker though. “Kids aren’t like they used to be” is probably the banner of every previous generation but, in all honesty, it’s true.
Violence has been done in every generation since the Fall of Man so I’m not about to say that the violence is any worst today than it has ever been. Sure we see wars around us and see the cruelty by barbaric people either torturing captives or killing innocents and those are all horrendously violent, but they’ve been done before. The thing that makes it worst this age than in other ages is not that it happens, but how those who witness these things react.
Days after photos of Iraqi prisoners being tortured were released, people were making fun of it. A day after a beheading of a hostage, people forgot about it and were talking about, I don’t know, Britney Spears or something. If 9/11 is mentioned on the news some people can be heard saying “this again?!?”. Murderers are pitched for getting reality T.V. shows and people might even tune in for a few good laughs with the murderer.
There is a general apathy and disregard to these things and what’s worst; younger and younger people are embracing these things for a laugh. In the schools out here in New York City, teachers are battling the problem of violence. Kids, 14 years old, are bringing guns and knives to school?not to show off but to actually use. Kids have been caught in the hallways having intercourse. A friend of mine who used to teach in the public school system got fed up and now works on the North Shore of Long Island and the problem they’re dealing with there, among 14 and 15 years old particularly, is orgies.
What do we do? Hand out condoms. Prescribe birth control. Don’t condemn it. Just deal with the possible ramifications.
In one sense I can cry out to God asking why and wondering when He will take action. When will He put an end to all of this rampant wickedness and apathy that is all around?
In another sense, I fear for the generation that is being raised for they are to be the teachers and the decriers and to them we are to entrust the preaching of the Gospel. Who will do it? Who will take a stand? Are we equipping them with these truths so that they can battle this present darkness? Are we entrusting these things to faithful people who can teach other faithful people?
God help us to teach! God help us to preach! God help us to equip this next generation.
I look at my son, two and a half years old, and I see awe and wonder every time he looks around. I see the chasm of the world all around and I fear it’s darkness and how very deep it can go. I pray that I can equip him to be different from those around and different from me. I pray that the Lord can make him soar over that chasm and land on the other side with a tremendous “boom!” that will resonate throughout his life. That he can take a stand and preach the Gospel boldly, never straying from the truth but rooted in the scriptures and able to tear down the opposition with the very Word and power of the Living God.