If you read some of my other blog posts, you would know that the 1970s were a party for me. The party didn’t end until I joined the army in the early 1980s. For my wife, however, the 1970s and early 1980s were a different kind of time. It was the time for the Jesus Movement, Keith Green, Amy Grant, and an awakening in this country for many Christians.
My wife was not born into a Christian family. She found God on her own when she was a girl and realized the only way to break out of her dysfunctional family was to find some function elsewhere. She found it with the Jesus loving hippie movement. They became her new family.
She attended church, joined the youth group, and generally broke away from her family by moving in with a Christian family when she was still a teenager. It was also another way to finally attend a single school during a school year instead of moving around and attending up to three. She needed some stability in her life and this seemed to be the answer.
As in the case of many youth groups, whether Christian or not, things seemed to be somewhat exaggerated or taken beyond a literal sense. Her group was fully convinced they were living in the end times and that Armageddon was right around the corner. This also prompted them to live life the best they could so they could be ready. There were some drawbacks, however…
YOUTH PASTOR: The end times are near, are you ready?
YOUTH: How near?
YOUTH PASTOR: Um, very near. The signs are all over the place…
YOUTH: Signs? You mean like a billboard or something? I didn’t see that sign…(then turning to the other youth) did anybody else see the sign? (A bunch of shaking heads). Nobody saw the sign…where is it?
YOUTH PASTOR: Not that kind of sign! Signs, like in fulfilled prophecies and such…
YOUTH: Is there, like, a timeline or something? Can I skip my homework?
YOUTH PASTOR: No, there isn’t. Nobody knows what hour it will happen…
ANOTHER YOUTH: But you said it was near?
YOUTH PASTOR: Yes, it is.
ANOTHER YOUTH: But you don’t know how near? Like, will it happen before the next Star Wars comes out? (This caused some deep concern and murmuring amongst the others).
YOUTH PASTOR: Like I said, nobody knows…
YET ANOTHER YOUTH: God wouldn’t stop us from the next Star Wars, would He?
YET AGAIN, ANOTHER YOUTH: What about Rocky? I heard they were coming out with a sequel!
YOUTH PASTOR: I think you’re all putting your priorities in the…
VARIOUS YOUTHS: Really? Star Wars? Rocky? What kind of God would do this? Could it happen tonight? What do we need to pack? Should I get my hair re-feathered?
Well, all of you readers can relax. I know you were on the edge of your seats wondering if these poor kids ever got to see Star Wars again! Like I said, relax. The Youth Pastor was right about one thing…nobody knows when it will happen…including him, obviously.
Now, these kids weren’t being weak in their faith, they were just being kids. When you’re young and not worn out by life yet, it’s easy to get excited by multiple things. When you get to be my age, it needs to be a singular thing and fully in the moment…like, “I’m so excited I remembered why I came into this room!” Of course, this is usually followed with, “Um, now what?”
Something similar happened with Y2K. So many people were convinced that the world was going to end and Armageddon would begin. Computers were supposed to crash, missiles were supposed to launch out of control, nuclear plants were going to meltdown, and electrical grids were going to go haywire, leaving us all in the dark. Preppers were now sought out by previous skeptics and food and water supplies were fortified in many homes…to include my wife’s.
When I first started dating my wife, it was a couple weeks after Y2K. One of her pastor’s was convinced the entire country was going to fall apart and that people needed to be prepared. The way I see it, it was good advice to be prepared for the worst. Stocking up on food and water is always a good thing. Of course, you should stock up on things you’ll actually eat…
ME (looking in my soon-to-be wife’s kitchen cupboard): Wow…that’s a lot of spam…
SOON-TO-BE WIFE: Yeah, that was for Y2K.
ME: Well, I guess there’ll be a lot of spam delicacies on the menu.
SOON-TO-BE WIFE: No, there won’t be. I won’t eat spam.
Well, it turns out my kids and I would, so we cleaned out the spam cupboard in a matter of months. You’d be amazed at the many variations you can come up with to eat spam! The only mistake I made was singing the Monty Python Spam song to my kids as a joke…isn’t it amazing how they’ll forget you told them to clean their rooms, but they will NEVER FORGET A STUPID SPAM SONG!?! The song got more tiresome than the actual spam did.