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.
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.
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.
- Wanted Man
Wanted Man a.k.a. Ken R. Abell, seeks to be a blessing to others. He's a rake, a rambler, and a teller of tales who understands that there is strength in a story well told and well lived. To learn more, inquire or schedule him, visit this web site.
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