I have recently turned 60! Wow, that seemed so old many years ago. Now, not so much. I don’t feel old. But I do realize even more now the truth in James’ statement when he said, “For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
I have lived in 7 different decades. I don’t know if anyone else’s life will ever see the changes that I have seen in my 60 years.
Sometimes when we visit Cracker Barrel I look at a little booklet that is printed for each year. It is interesting to note the world in 1956. Gasoline cost 22 cents a gallon, a new house about $11,000 and a new car about $2,000. The average household income was about $4,500.
Elvis first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956. This happening after Ed Sullivan had initially said he would not consider presenting the singer before a family audience. My, oh my, how times have changed with regards to what is put on television.
The film, The Ten Commandments, still being shown on television each year around Easter, premiered on October 5, 1956, the day I was born. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever made. It is almost unrivaled in its popularity for films 60 years of age!
If you wish to consider a good marketing tag line, think about Allstate Insurance. Their phrase, ‘You’re in good hands with Allstate’ was introduced that year.
I don’t recall our family not having a television set. In my earliest memories, we had a television that was black and white. I can recall our first color television came much later. The televisions were big bulky pieces of furniture.
In the year I was born, one of the more popular television shows was ‘I’ve Got a Secret’. Guests appeared on the show and the shows regulars tried to figure out the secret by asking the guest a series of questions. In February of that year the last surviving eye witness to the Lincoln assassination appeared on the show.
Telephones? I remember when telephones were first brought to our community. We all had a party line. That meant that several people in our community all shared the same line. Only one person at a time could use the phone. If you picked up the phone to use it and heard someone else talking, you had to wait until their conversation ended. That made for much eaves’ dropping by nosy neighbors. And I can remember how frustrating it would be for some of the older ladies in the neighborhood to get on the phone and stay for what seemed like hours.
I remember my grandmother would use the phone and forget to hang it up. Once a neighbor came to our house and asked me to go to my grandmother’s house and hang up her phone. He knew it was hers off the hook because he could hear her talking in the house and as long as it was off the hook no one else could use the party line.
Yes, many changes have occurred in my 60 years. But one thing never changes. It is as true today as it was in 1956.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
But the word of the LORD endures forever. 1 Peter 1:25
The Psalmist addressed the subject in Psalms 90:9-12. Note his statement, “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Did you catch that he said to number our days, and not years? Life is made up of days. And the goal of life is to gain a heart of wisdom. I hope I am doing that.