Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Days

Sometime in the 1970s, I remember watching the TV show "Happy Days" and wondering aloud, what made the 1950s happy days. My mother remarked, that I would look upon the 80s as "Happy Days" one day.

I remember at the time kind of scoff at such a notion.

But, Mom was right.

This evening, as Daniel and I were heading to dinner, we stumbled upon a satellite station that played 80s music...actually to be more exact, it was playing an episode of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem, from June of 1984.

Hearing all of those old tunes, had me going back to that summer of 1984 when I was 14, soon to be 15. It was a very good summer. I remember watching the '84 Summer Olympics and that was the year that Michael Jackson seemed to be everywhere. Good times indeed.

Twenty-five years later, I'm 39 soon to be 40. I'm now a middle aged man, some of those bands I listened to in '84 are no longer playing and Michael Jackson is sadly no longer with us.

Those days of my youth were good days, but they weren't all good. My freshman year in high school was difficult. My mother spent several weeks in the hospital dealing with heart failure.

I'm thinking about how some congregations view their golden past, their happy days. They look back at those days with fondness and like me listening to an old American Top 40 broadcast, almost long to be back in those days when life was simpler.

But the thing is, I doubt it was that simple. I have to think that there were rough patches in those golden years as well as good days.

And the thing is, sometimes we get so wrapped up in our pasts, that we don't see what is ahead of us, which might be even better than what we left behind.

Congregations want to relieve those old days. They want it to be 1958 again when the pews were full. But we can't go back in time, and as much as I would love to go back to 1984 for a little while, I can't. Time only goes forward and that's a good thing.

A Disciples congregation in Nashville has put together a video that see what the church will look like 10 years from now. They are not looking at the past, but heading forward.

A friend commented that being in your 40s is pretty cool. Again, I feel like scoffing, but then I was wrong before.

The life before us can be pretty good, if we allow it to be.

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