It was sometime in the mid-80s.
A Los Angeles TV news station ran a story about an up-and-coming heavy metal band called Poison, that was beginning to emerge as a popular act in town, and seemed to be on the brink of making it big.
The reporter questioned the band members about the name of their group, wondering why they would choose a name as seemingly unappealing as "Poison". One of the members answered, describing the band's struggles against parents who accused them of "poisoning our youth" with their music. Fed up with all the negative vibes, the band chose its name in defiance of these very parents and their concerns.
The quote given in the interview was: "Cut the crap, we're Poison!"
Nothing noteworthy in the quote itself, but there was something interesting that occurred in the broadcast of this interview:
The word "crap" was bleeped.
Let that sink in for a second...
Sounds quaint, doesn't it?
Any adult could tell stories just like this one, stories of a more innocent time. A time when people cared about what was good and decent. A time when people took greater care to preserve the innocence of children. A time when right was right and wrong was wrong.
And, who could argue with these observations?
Yet, those same "good old days" included many plagues better left in the history books. Really, is anyone up for a return to segregation? Pre-suffrage politics? Primitive medicine? The chamber pot?
Perhaps that's some of the wisdom behind King Solomon's words:
"Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these?' For it is not wise to ask such questions." (Ecclesiastes 7:10)
Solomon doesn't elaborate on this thought. He doesn't say exactly why it's so unwise to dwell on the good old days and look with scorn upon the present. He just says it's unwise.
Perhaps he knew people's tendency to exaggerate, making the good better and the bad worse than either really was.
Or, maybe people in his day were just as prone as we are to airbrushing the problems out of our fondest memories, creating in our minds a past so perfect, the present can't measure up to it.
Then again, it could just be that people in Solomon's time were just as troubled by shifting sands as we are today.
As long as people walk the earth, times will continue to change. The world's concerns will evolve and shift. Words will go unbleeped that were bleeped a generation before, while at the very same time, other matters will be treated with greater sensitivity than they had been previously, leaving us wondering how we ever overlooked them before.
In the end, will one generation's landscape prove to be categorically better than another?
Or, is every disciple called to be salt and light, right there in the very present time, regardless of when that happens to be?
Could it be that you live today, because God wants you here?
Times change, but Christ doesn't. (Hebrews 13:8)
Stand on the Rock and let the sand shift around you.
Don't love the sand, or hate the sand, or wish it would stand still. Or that it would go back to the way it used to be.
Certainly don't blow away with it.
Just stand on the Rock, and let not your heart be troubled.