My fondest memories of bedtime were in the upstairs bedroom of my grandparent's house. Two twin beds with white bedspreads and clean, crisp, cool sheets. Walls papered in pink and white with large, happy sunflowers. Collections of playful nick-nacks in the shelved headboard. Grandma tucked my sister and I each tightly in our beds so we could barely move "cozy, ozy, ozy," she would say. She then sat on the edge of one of our beds and led us in prayer. One I imagine she prayed as a little girl and took the liberty of altering.
"Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. God bless (and here the long list from the hearts little girls could go on forever) Mommy, Aunt Toby, Uncle Troy, Uncle Todd, Gramma, Grandpa, Ingrid (their dog), my teacher, my best friend... (until Gramma finally decided, 'Honey, let's just say, "God bless everybody,"' probably so she wouldn't be trapped in the sunflower bedroom for an hour while we listed every person we ever knew that we wanted God to bless.) Amen."And so an unsaved woman (hopefully not so today as I trust her to have been safely welcomed into the arms of Jesus from her deathbed) taught me to always, always pray before bed and before mealtimes. And I am thankful for this lesson in what's important.
The other night I saw an interview with Andrew Breitbart and he said that our culture by default is liberal. Though this is definitely true today, it wasn't always so. My Grandmother, not a Christian in reality, was a morally conservative by default...because the culture in which she was raised was a God-fearing one. I often sarcastically joke that if you're born in America or eat a hamburger, then you must be a Christian...as this was the mentality of many Americans for so long. This is not wholly true any longer. Now, if you are born American, you are an immoral liberal by default. That is the setting for which we fall into. Which is indeed what scripture says of those who do not follow Jesus. You are either for Him or against Him. There is no complacent or neutral place in the middle. (Rev. 3:16) I have quoted it many times and here it comes again: "In the absence of Biblical conviction, people will go the way of culture." (Sally Clarkson)
To the credit of those previous generations who claimed to be Christian but in actuality were not, at least they deeply desired goodness, truth, and morality which resulted in a blessed society. Why did they have this foundation? Because prayer and Bible were a regular part of their day as they were growing up. Removing these two pillars has only resulted in a culture of relativism (everyone doing what is right in their own eyes), destruction (a million unborn per year murdered), irresponsibility and passing the blame, an entitlement mentality, and a rampantly bold flaunting of the most horrific sins of men...and pride therein.
"Pride goes before destruction,
and a haughty spirit before a fall."
I recently read that, though people aren't turning to God in droves, there is becoming a greater contrast between light and darkness in our culture. This means that those following righteousness and truth are following it boldly and not lukewarmly. I think this is incredibly encouraging that people of Jesus aren't just getting in by the skin of their teeth, but are committing with full devotion with their heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is what changes a generation for real.
Let us not settle for mediocre. We have a greater purpose in Him! We must influence others toward righteousness and eternal bliss by lovingly exposing them to the deep, deep love of Jesus.
"All great change in America and (if I may add) the world begins at the dinner table." ~Ronald Reagan (...and a teeny bit of me)