Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Glory Days

I get this feeling every time summer appears and the night air becomes full of static and heat. The kind of air that lets you know that summer is here and is going to be intense. For a few moments, my mind drifts back to being 17 again, the t-tops off of the charcoal-grey Trans Am, sunglasses on at night, and cruising around Hwy 25 with a million other knuckle-heads who didn’t know any better either. With the radio on, Don Henley ushered us into summer time bliss...

Nobody on the road
Nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air -
The summer's out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets
The sun goes down alone
I'm drivin' by your house
Though I know you're not home

But I can see you -Your brown skin shinin' in the sun
You got your hair combed backAnd your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell youMy love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone
Ahh...glory days. I can now full appreciate the philosopher George Bernard Shaw when he said that youth is wasted on the young! Unlike many, I not only remember the good times but also the bad. Like the very, very bad decision to try snuff. A powdery form of chewing tobacco popular here in the South. (I am instantly reminded of the Psalmist who said, “I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long.”) Or the time we decided it would be “fun” to tie a rope to a bicycle tethered to the back of a pick up truck, allowing ourselves to experience biking at 55 mph. The original X games. Can I just say, it’s all fun and games until somebody gets dragged a half mile on his elbows!

But mostly I remember the good times. I remember when the biggest problem was where would we scrape up another 5 bucks for gas. (Mind you, at .65¢ a gallon, that was half a tanks worth!) I remember how much better Waffle House food was at 2am, how leather pants were considered “cool”, and how we thought Queen was a bunch of straight men. (If you’re over 50, don’t laugh, you thought Elton John was!) I remember walking around the mall, and joybuzzer attacks, wondering if a certain girl liked you, and the arcade where the hippest thing was Pac-Man! Mostly though, I think about how I never thought it would end. Glory days forever!

Now, I do not consider myself old. Let’s be clear. At 45, I’m still a spring chicken! However, I did spend the day at various hospitals and nursing homes, praying with and consoling many people who are desperately ill. In an ICU room at a hospital in Columbia, I held the hand of a man who is recovering from a heart attack. As we spoke he asked me, “How is it that our bodies just up and stop working for us one day?”

There are theological answers to his question. I could have told him about original sin and the curse and Adamic nature. But I think the answer lies in hope. And so I told him about Revelation 21:4, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."

And so I told him about our new bodies that will last forever and the days of no suffering, no sorrow, sickness, or death. When our bodies will be perfect and defect free. And...for a moment within myself...I didn’t look back to glory days, I looked ahead to days of Glory.

2 comments:

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