1956

More specifically, Saturday, May 12, at approximately 2:00pm. It was probably a normal day for most Americans, except for one young lady and me. Of course, I had no clue what was going on, I can’t speak for my mother either, but I think she might’ve been a little excited. But by the time I came along she had already birthed three kids, perhaps she knew what to expect.

What was happening around the country the year I showed up?

The average cost of a house was $12,000. Monthly rent averaged around $90.Yearly wages averaged $4,450. A new car would set you back a whopping $2,000! And with the cost of gas averaging around 22 cents a gallon you could probably drive coast to coast on a couple tanks of gas while listening to Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel on the radio.

I think it’s very interesting that at the same time I came along IBM introduces the first hard drive computer – the IBM 305 RAMAC. Maybe that’s why I’ve always loved technology. Weighing in at around one ton and measuring 16 square feet it was a behemoth of a machine! Today’s smartphones have a thousand times more computing power! As Spock would say: “Fascinating.”

Fast forward 17 years to 1973, I’m in boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois, preparing for a 6-year stint in the United States Navy. I’m still a kid and don’t realize or care what course I’ve set for myself.

Another 17 years into the future and a 34-year old young man still doesn’t seem to realize or care what course he’s on. And by the time he’s 51 he begins to understand that the map he’s been following has led him on a journey that has no specific destination.

12 years later and I feel like I’m still using the same map I had when I was 17. Following a course that crisscrosses here and there and doubles back to a new starting point that really isn’t all that new, just different.

Pick a year, any year, 1956 was mine. But I didn’t get to choose it, had I been able to would I have chosen 1856? 1756? 2056? Some folks believe we are all predestined to follow a specific path, I’m not too keen on that belief myself. Take a look at my roadmap thus far and you can understand why.

Matthew 12:25

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”

I’m not one to preach, but I was raised in a Christian household and went to church just about every Sunday as a boy. I have since distanced myself from organized religion, but there are certain things happening in today’s world that remind me of biblical predictions my mother used to warn me about.

I posted something on Facebook that started a discussion that showed me just how divided our nation is. I said that I believed President Trump was a racist after I heard about and read his tweets regarding four congresswomen of color. (Click here: Trump’s racist tweets if you want to find out more.) I have never said anything like that before against the Commander in Chief, publicly or privately, to anyone. But this time I felt the need to speak out. At last count, there were 222 comments on my post. (If you go to my Facebook page and scroll down you’ll find the comment.)

Abraham Lincoln used the biblical metaphor in his House Divided Speech in 1858. In it, Mr. Lincoln was concerned with slavery and said: “Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.”

We all know what happened a couple of years after Lincoln’s speech. Are we heading toward another civil war today? Referring back to biblical predictions my mother used to warn me about, here’s another one, from Matthew 24:6: “”You will be hearing of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not frightened, for those things must take place, but that is not yet the end.”

It’s very hard not to be frightened!