We have been at it for almost a quarter century now. We've been friends since we were three years old. Now we're going on 28 with growing families, and it feels as though the world is going to close in on us! We feel stifled by the sounds of cars and airplanes rushing by all our waking moments. We feel cramped by the square feet in which we live and the short hours in which we pretend to cram a family life in between swapping the best hours of the best days of our lives for the opportunity to do so. We feel the suppression of the soul resulting from our participation in this version of the game of life and the unfairness of sitting through traffic lights twice only to get home to perform more household chores before hurrying our kids off to bed so we can get enough sleep to do well at our jobs the next day. And we say we don't care about money.
We feel a profound sadness by the sight of the next generation falling straight from the womb into a landslide of consumptionism, want, selfishness, corruption, immorality--every step of the way provoked by the constant rush of messages they receive from radio, MTV, TV ads, the pump tops at the gas station, the checkout line at the grocery store, movies, podcasts, the Internet, and our iPhones or Blackberries. Isn't it great! We can carry around a little device in our pockets to make sure we don't miss a single message from the adversary, thereby ensuring that our minds have no place for Godly wisdom to be implanted. We can't even use the bathroom now without a commercial advertisement assailing us unawares, gently--ever so subtly--informing us that the life we currently live is wrong, and the life which we could be living if we only had that next $29.95 plus tax would be all right. Our children are growing up in a world in which people are excessively busying themselves in search of perfection--from the right tan to the right tattoo, the right drink, the right car, the right technology, the right spouse--maybe we'll get it right next time. Sheryl Crow said it best when she said, "It's not having what you want. It's wanting what you've got." When will our society begin relentlessly publishing the message that happiness is not in possessions and peace not in the size of our--well, anything? Except maybe our hearts. What should we do if we want to raise our children to know the good life without thinking they have to own an iPod to get it?
We have fallen victim to the lack of published wisdom in our society today. Oh how we wish we had 10% of all the money we have earned since we began working--both of us really--at the age of 10. What a down payment for a house that would have made! What a cushion of one year's living expenses that would have made! Oh how we wish we could have back the vitality and opportunity we spent in bad company and in preparation for responsibilities lesser than Husband and Father! What should we do if we want to divert ourselves off the destructive course we set when we were but foibling teens?
We have participated in this game long enough to know that it is a broken and disharmonious one. It is like trying to iceskate with a ball and chain. It can be done--but it's not the way it's meant to be done. It involves too much risk, too much effort, and too many casualties.
We look to the future now. With a vision fixed upon a new life and a steady determination to live it, we begin today playing a different game.