A Messy Story: Life In The Fast Lane

Age Of Aquarius

Once upon a time, baby boomers came of age in an ecstasy of excess.

It was termed the age of Aquarius and to celebrate, decadence danced in unabashed glory. Intimacy was reduced to the level of a routine handshake. There were gurus by the bushel to elevate sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll into a mystical mantra.

Its ethos permeated our lives with tragic consequences. We did a slick two-step away from common sense.

Immorality became acceptable behavior to be proudly displayed. Morality was systematically trashed. Permissiveness and promiscuity were flaunted with such intensity that at some point they were transformed into the expected norm.

A Messy Story

In the song, Life In The Fast Lane, the Eagles relate the messy story of a couple’s futile quest for meaning and fulfillment within the seductive promises of the party culture.  Its high-energy narrative speaks of blowin’ and burnin’ and being blinded by thirst; its lyrics have a haunting authenticity, especially this line:  “They didn't see the stop sign, took a turn for the worst.”

They didn’t see the stop sign, took a turn for the worst.  Sounds like modern America.  We ignored all the counsel and warnings along the way.  We blew past caution signs; we burned down pillars of stability; we were blinded by our thirst for pleasure and gratification.

Consider This

As values swirl down the bowl, we have the gall to wonder why. We wring our hands with a smug self-righteousness as though we bear no responsibility for the disappearance of ethics and civility. Fact is, as a society, we are harvesting nothing more or less than what we sowed.

We eliminated God from the public square. We puffed ourselves up with knowledge that resulted in a cut and paste job which attempts to diminish God’s Word. We routinely and continuously sacrifice babies on the altar of convenience and wrap it all in a shroud of personal choice and legislative activism. We teach our children that they are descended from chance connections in some prehistoric gene pool.

Boomers raced through life in the existential fast lane of self-absorbed satisfaction. We traded substance for style. We gave decency the heave-ho to freely accept deceit and duplicity.

We elected the first president of our generation and watched as he engaged in serial adultery and bold-faced lying, which was accepted by the majority of our fellow citizens. We kissed goodbye to honor, character and idealism in exchange for prosperity and strong economic indicators.

At the dawning of the twenty-first century, we sent the second boomer to the White House. The big Dubya from Texas had principles and high aspirations, but his tenure got swallowed whole by a barbarism that defies reason. Horror struck at the heart of who we are, and in the years since we’ve grappled to come to terms with what it means to live in the age of terror.

Do President Obama's words about hope and change mean anything at all?
Do President Obama's words about hope and change mean anything at all?

Hope & Change

It is now the era of hope and change with Barack Obama, but it seems that there isn’t much to believe in because outrageous behavior remains the same.

After all our blowin’ and burnin’, we are no longer shocked by the daily headlines. Politicians of every stripe and ideology have been caught with their pants down or their hands in the cookie jar so regularly that we hardly even blink anymore.

Life in the fast lane of sex, drugs and rock‘n’roll has certainly not been beneficial to the structural integrity of our society. Our financial institutions and manufacturing engines are faltering and being propped up by governmental assistance. Billions of dollars have disappeared in bottomless holes of bureaucracy, ineptitude and greed.

Big ticket stars of the news-entertainment circuit yell at each other across the airwaves in never-ending screaming matches that we now call commentary. We have eye-witnessed a descent into the madness of trash talk dolled up in the guise of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

The pot of discontent is boiling with a poisonous brew; the entire country needs anger management intervention.

Ancient Wisdom Literature

The negative ramifications of life in the fast lane have filtered through every aspect and avenue of our lives.  We are reeling from its affects, but to shake free from chaos and decline we cannot withdraw or go into ostrich-mode.

The past is always prelude to the present and future, so getting back to the basics is not a bad place to start.  The wisdom literature of the Hebrew people unashamedly proclaims that humanity is involved in God’s story, so we must look to the ancients for counsel and direction.  It is truth we ought to heed.

We must rise above the moral ambiguity of our time by exercising faith in the sovereign God of creation.  Only God’s grace and God’s Word can rescue us from the ditches and holes of life in the fast lane.

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Comments 14 comments

PinanShodan 7 years ago

Ken,

Thank God I know Jesus, he is the only stable equation in my life.


coffeesnob 7 years ago

Ken,

I have to say that not for Jesus, I would be like chicken little - scurrying about with woes and worries. Yet, I believe that we cannot simply sit still and watch the sky fall. I agree we need to rise above moral ambiguity and be outrageously bold in exercising our faith in the Almighty God


Gicky Soriano profile image

Gicky Soriano 7 years ago from California

Sounds like modern America took an age-old wayward turn for the worst. The dark age of Israel was no different. The principle that always meant defeat in the lives of the nation of Israel is given to us in the very last verse of the book of Judges: "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes" (Judg 21:25). God prescribed to the nation a right and wrong way of doing things. The Israelites, on the other hand, were determined to do what was right, not in the sight of God, but in their own eyes.

Seems like the country needs to change lanes, pull into the next rest area and prayerfully get its spiritual bearings once again. A very stimulating hub indeed. It helped me think through my own "fast lane" maneuvers in life.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

PinanShodan - Amen. It is great to know the only truth that can set us free.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

coffeesnob - Yes, isn't that true for all of us? If not for the security we have in Christ, we'd all be scurrying around like a bunch of chicken littles. That sounds like an idea for a new Hub. :>)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, Gicky. Good words. Sadly, that passage from Judges not only sounds like modern America, it also is true of the church in North America.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Ken, This article is awesome. I played a big part in this falling away. If I hadn't been forgiven by the blood of Jesus, I wouldn't be able to bear my sins. The children of the Woodstock Generation thought we had some great truth—and there was some truth in it. But we deconstructed authority, custom and tradition that had made America and American families great—as far as they can be on this Earth.

Oddly enough, your theme is the theme of my book, which I worked on a lot maybe five years ago and then put on a shelf. I intend to get back to it. I see I was supposed to put it on hold because the intervening five years have given me a new perspective on the story I am telling. The story of the Woodstock Generation and its ramifications on our culture and society.

Thank you for a fine read.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, James.

"But we deconstructed authority, custom and tradition that had made America and American families great—as far as they can be on this Earth." Well said.

Hope you find the time to finish that book & a publisher for it. I look forward to seeing it. That is a great theme because as a society we are still sorting through it all, with battlelines often drawn in much the same way they were drawn in 1968 & '69.


figment profile image

figment 6 years ago from Texas

Enjoyed this Hub


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, figment. Glad you enjoyed it.


lady stingray profile image

lady stingray 6 years ago from Pasadena, TX.

Ken, I often wonder how this country is surviving among all the immorality that progresses further each day. I know God will guide us if we ask Him, there are just so many that won't ask....Kim


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Kim - Thanks for stopping in & sharing. I wonder the same thing from time to time. We do live in interesting times.


The Momma profile image

The Momma 6 years ago

I WAS in the fast lane of work, daycare, bills, stress, blah blah blah until my Angels of God stopped me with a truck. And the way I WAS, it was the only thing that could have stopped me. I now stop and appreciate little things. On my way out, I stop and listen to the frogs chirping and look up at the stars. This world, as ugly as some paint it, is beautiful. I am now off the fast lane and doing some work on earth for our Creator with Archangel Michael by my side. How great is that! I am blessed here on earth and in heaven! I know many people who are so caught up in gossip, in anger, in dependency, and preach the word of God without listening to the words or acting on the words. I am not a Bible expert and I am no expert; however, Archangel Michael says I was stopped so I could have the time to study and teach others my life lessons, my experiences. And that, Ken R. Abell, is what I shall do! Thank you for your warm words of welcome to this wonderful community. I still am feeling my way around but love it so far! Take care


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

The Momma - Thank you for visiting & for sharing thoughtful words of testimony. Blessings.

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