Apr 12, 2008

Ahh when I was young...

I have been thinking recently about all the changes I've seen in my lifetime.   This was brought about by a conversation I had with my son, recently.   He was somewhat perplexed about the lack of video games when I was growing up.   What could I have possibly done with my time?   Good question.   Let's see...   mow the lawn, clean the pool, clean up, the yard.   Well... you get the idea.

I  grew up in east-central Phoenix.   Our subdivision had once been an orange orchard so we had 11 orange trees on our property.   We couldn't eat them all.   Our lot had a berm around the perimeter.   About once every ten days, we would open a huge valve into our lawn and flood it with about 10 inches of water.   The water came from a nearby canal which was fed from the dams along the Salt River.   In the middle of summer we thought it was great fun to splash around in 10 inches of water.

I also had a paper route.   My first route was delivering to an apartment complex a couple of miles north of where I lived.   As a second grade boy I would wake up about 5:00 in the morning, ride my bike to the paper station and load up with about 45 papers.   Then I would deliver to the apartment complex.   It was a great route and easy to do.   We were paid by tips.   On a typical week I would earn about $4.   I would go door-to-door on Sunday night and collect money from every apartment.   After I had collected all the money, I would go to Baskin Robbins and buy a chocolate milk shake for about 50 cents.   I stopped delivering papers as a freshman in high school.   By my calculations, over the years I rode my bicycle 10,000 miles.    My bike and I  were good friends.

When I started driving in 1978, Gas was 65 cents per gallon.   The gas pump didn't take credit cards. I'm not sure there was unleaded gas back then.   Air conditioning was 2-55.   (That's two windows open while you drive 55 mph).

So how did I get along without video games?   Oh, it was so horrible.   We longed to sit in front of a television all day and battle each other with video games.   NOT.   If we wanted to battle each other, we made makeshift swords out of tree branches and pretended we were good guys and bad guys.

I won't say they were the good old days.   I certainly enjoyed them and I wouldn't trade them for the world.   But I do wonder what my son will say to my grandkids about his youth.   I wonder what new technology will make video games seem downright strange.   I wonder how we can best share the message of God's love to the next generation.   Virtual Jesus anyone?

Pastor David Hook

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