Marbles, Jacks and Stickball

Older people have a definite advantage over young people. That advantage is called hindsight. You don’t have hindsight when you are young as it can only be acquired with age and experience.

Let’s turn the clock back a good many decades. This is a time before television, before Ipods and before cell phones. To the young this must seem totally prehistoric and almost barbaric. This was a time when milk , butter and eggs were delivered by a horse drawn wagon and  milkman. Almost all ‘kids’ played out in the street after school and under the street lights in the evenings and almost no one was obese. In many neighborhoods of the city, families sat on their front porches and shared that days news with one another. There was often someone in the neighborhood who could sing, play the guitar, mandolin or some other instrument; and that would be the beginning of another evening of friendship and bonding. If you lived in an ethnic neighborhood, and who didn’t?, it was commonplace for mothers and grandmothers to ‘stand guard’ from their second or third floor window to ‘police’ and watch over the children at play. This was the beginning of what we now call ‘neighborhood watch’. If there was some stranger loitering in the neighborhood one of the mothers or grandmothers would call out in a loud voice, “ Hey! Who are you? What do you want?  This was a time when parents were in control of their children. Most of the games played by the ‘kids’ were usually played with homemade equipment. When they played ‘stick-ball, ‘ the bat  was  a three foot piece of broom handle and the ball was actually a four inch additional piece of broom handle sharpened at both ends. This smaller piece was placed on the ground and with the three foot piece of broom handle the batter would tap the short piece on the ground causing it to spiral up in the air and then the batter would attempt to hit it just as it is done today in regular baseball. The gloves the other team wore were usually the working gloves their dad used at the factory or mill. No special protective gear of any kind was ever used and almost no one can  remember a child suffering any major injury except a bruised or scraped knee or elbow if they should have slipped as they were running around the bases which were usually a telephone pole or a car which marked where the bases were. Young girls played with ‘Jacks’ which were small objects resembling miniature gyroscopes which when you dropped a small rubber ball you attempted to grab as many ‘jacks’ as you could without dropping any  before the ball dropped and you had to catch the ball as well. Marbles is something every boy, and often girls too, played in every neighbor in America. This was the America of yesterday. There was a lot of ingenuity exhibited back then. I believe that having to think of new ways to entertain themselves because money was in short supply, was really a primer in developing smarter and more resilient children who were to become the inventors and leaders of today.

Today, with all thinking being done for them in the way of prepackaged games, toys and even study methods, it seems that they are not required to think in an original way but just punch in the question and up pops the answer from Google or Yahoo. No effort being required by the young adult to remember or think about how that answer came to be and ‘why’ did it come up that way? Everything is taken at face value. They accept, without question, what is presented to them. Is this not an opportunity for some unscrupulous person or organization to capture and mold the thinking patterns of young adults? You don’t have to go to war to win over a nation. You just control what the children are learning and if you also control the media  you affect the future without a single shot being fired. It has been demonstrated that today’s young people seldom think with any originality anymore. Do you remember the slogan, “ A mind is a terrible thing to waste”? It is more true today then ever before. The minds of the young people are less able to think for themselves than ever before. Where will the new Edison’s, the Graham Bell’s, the Wright Brothers, the Gates and Jobs come from? Without them our future looks bleak. Asia, India and the Middle East are picking up where have left off and are now much more advanced educationally and technologically than we in America are. Their school grades prove it. How could this have happened? This is not a new phenomenon but is as old as history. As technology advances and increases it is giving us more and more knowledge but does not guarantee us ‘wisdom’. Technology has out paced our ethics, our morality and our good judgment. Ancient Rome and Greece had their coliseums and we have our giant stadiums. Is there a difference? Not really. They were treated to bloody and cruel sports while today we watch Nascar, wrestling and football. Do people really just watch to see cars spinning around in circles or do they really watch because there is often horrific car crashes and the spectacle and possibility of death? Human nature has not improved over the past thousands of years because mankind still possesses  a  fallen nature. There is little difference between the coliseum of yesteryear and the stadium of today.  America is unhappy and constantly looking for more entertainment  to  make them happy. Why should America be unhappy? America has been more blessed than any nation in the history of the world but her heart has grown cold and fat. There is something missing and America does not know what it is. She seems to have lost her way. What is this something that is missing or lost? America has lost her vision and her soul as well.  America has lost her way and is completely unaware of her critical condition. Her  eyes and nose, as it were, is focused on a television screen or Ipod screen and has not looked up to see what is happening in the world around her. There was a time when America and even the world was happier even though they had a lot less. It is not the ‘things’ we possess that makes us happy but the things we honor and revere and recognize that  have come from our Creator. Without a strong moral compass we are doomed. We are as a boat at sea in a heavy fog without a ship’s wheel and rudder. We are at the whim of the wind and raging sea, helpless to save ourselves. We have however, a Captain of our souls and a sure guide who has authority over the wind, the waves and all the elements. America has only to call upon Him, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Our ship of state is doomed unless we install a new compass and rudder and have a sure and steady hand at the wheel. America must wake up from this orgy of excesses and restore order in the family. If  parents decided to have less there would not be the necessity of both parents having to work and mom could remain at home caring for the needs of her family and providing the necessary nurturing the children require. Time is running out and for many there will be ‘hell’ to pay. This is a crazy world. We have plenty and still seek more from alcohol and drugs to give an even greater ‘high’. Parents must resume authority over their children instead of having the children rule over them. We are nearing the  ’end of time’. Do you understand what that means? “End of time’? It means your time’ which is about to run out. There will be nowhere you can run to hide. This age is about to end while a new age, a millennium, will soon begin.

Do you love your family? Have you made provision for them and for yourself? Whatever exists now in this lifetime of yours is about to perish. You will take nothing with you, and what you have would not be useful to you no matter where you eventually go. While there is still time  America must wake up from this morally lethargic state of mind it is in. Most of  the world as well, is in this same stupor. It takes calling out to the Creator and asking for help to understand, repent and for the will power to overcome the bondage of this world. If you remain bound to this world and all it has to offer you, then you are not free to accept passage to the new world that is coming and it is coming soon. This time it is not Christopher Columbus looking for the new world, but this time it is the captain and our Savior Jesus who is coming and  ready to take us to His new world and He knows where it is. Let’s hope your name and every name of your family and loved ones is on His passenger list.  Are you ready for this journey of a lifetime that lasts for eternity?                 

Only you can answer that question.  The  ship is about to leave port.

I hope I’ll see you on board.  Can you hear the call?     

All aboard! All aboard!

And that is,

As I See It

Roy Lamont

This entry was posted in Posts.

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