Summary: Time flies. Months slip away. Years are lost. Before we know it, a decade has passed. However, decades of the past can teach us today!
Time is flying. We have already visited 2 decades. Decades when viewed in reverse seem to be an immense amount of time. But it goes so quickly. We have looked at the 60’s and 70’s. Now we can come to the 80’s! The 80’s! Each week I have been playing snippets of the music of the decade. However, now we are in the 80’s. I have been trying to keep it to 2 minutes. But this is the 80’s! So, no apologies as we listen to the music of my teenage years! Play 80’s soundtrack. I want to hear you on your song!
The hedonism of the 70’s was being reevaluated! So many celebrities were having public disasters and were going to rehab that finally Nancy Regan utters the rally cry . . . Just say no. Free love slows down due to AIDS. The fact is the 60’s and 70’s left us empty so, we try to find something to fill the void left by “freedom” that didn’t leave us free.
On TV you would have watched MTV, ESPN, ET, Cosby Show, Family Ties, Dallas, Miami Vice, Magnum PI. You would have shop for Big Wheels, Care Bears, Cabbage Patch Kids. In the theater ... Back to the Future, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Flash dancing, Dirty Dancing, Top Gun, Ghost Buster. On the radio or on your walkman you would hear the one name artists Madonna, Prince, Whitney, U2. You would play pac man. Finally Christian Music finally sounded good - Stryper, Degarmo and Key, Petra, Carmen. The Space Shuttle Challenger explodes as we watched in horror. The Cold War was in full effect and the fear of communism was at the forefront of the American mind. So, that under Reagan defense spending increased to 34 Million and hour. Finally Reagan pushed through and the Berlin Wall fell and much of the Cold War fear with it. The Miracle on Ice rallied American patriotism. The greatest recession since the Great Depression took place in 1982 and the stock market crashed in 1987 but the middle class was confident and Young Urban Professional (Yuppies) and Starbucks arrive on the scene and in response to the recession a mad dash for more begins. However the method of response is a burgeoning credit card use - average of $11,000 debt per house hold.
There has been a mantra or governing message for each decade from the 60s “if it feels good do it” which led to the 70s “the devil made me do it” we now come to the 80s. The movie Wall Street delivered the message of the 80’s . . . Greed is good. So bumper stickers are printed that said, “The one with the most toys wins!” It is safe to say that the 80’s was the Decade of Excess.
Big hair, big house, big cars, big shoulder pads, big bank accounts, and big deals! Perhaps the most revealing glimpse into the decade was the popularity of one show . . . The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. This show revealed the lavish lifestyles, houses, and riches of the elite and dangled them like a carrot on a stick to the rest of us. The less than subtle message was if you could get to this level you would be happy and content.
Again we see the decades played out in the Garden of Eden - 60s feels good, 70s blame, 80s more. They had all the trees but had to have that one. No contentment.
Jesus also addressed the 80’s.
Speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.” Then he told them this story: “The farm of a certain rich man produced a terrific crop. He talked to himself: ‘What can I do? My barn isn’t big enough for this harvest.’ Then he said, ‘Here’s what I’ll do: I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll gather in all my grain and goods, and I’ll say to myself, Self, you’ve done well! You’ve got it made and can now retire. Take it easy and have the time of your life!’ “Just then God showed up and said, ‘Fool! Tonight you die. And your barnful of goods—who gets it?’ “That’s what happens when you fill your barn with self and not with God.”
The main character of this parable had to be a part of the 1980’s! He shows us some things we need to know.
If we think we are the source, then we get caught up in the stuff.
Notice this guy says this . . . I have done well. He takes credit as if he is the source. By the work of my hand I have created this. No understanding that every good and perfect gift comes from above. We have learned the lesson of the 80’s so well that we have even come to the place where we call things blessings that aren’t actually blessings because they bring bondage with them. We are so wrapped up in 80’s thinking that we think busting barns means blessed. But if busting barns leads to bankruptcy spiritually, then why would we claim we are blessed? Why would we blame that on God?Why would we think God would give us stuff that distracts us from Him? It isn’t a blessing if it curses us!