- Our class memorized the 23rd Psalm to recite over the school’s intercom system during morning announcements.
- We used big red No.1 pencils
- We shared desks
- We bought war stamps and put them in savings books. (The Korean War did not end until June 27, 1953)
- We had bomb drills (in case of atom bombs) both marching outside of our building in nice, straight lines and getting under our desks (crowded with two people sharing a desk!)
- We feared polio and ending up in an iron lung, which dictated much of what we were allowed to do in the summer months.
My dad worked with televisions, so we always had at least one. We watched Dwight Eisenhower being sworn in as president in 1953, the birth of Little Ricky on I Love Lucy (71% of all TV owners watched this episode), and we watched Hit Parade’s version of How Much Is That Doggie In the Window, sung by Patti Page, which was the Number 1 pop song in 1953.
And to think that we could see all of that on just three channels—channels that went off the air sometime around midnight.
The average annual wage in 1953 was $3750, which is probably about what my dad made to support our five-member family. Our house was a little smaller than average, so it cost only about $9,000.. The average new car cost $1800. I do remember “gas wars” and prices of 13-15 cents per gallon.
We always ate at home—no such thing really as fast food. McDonalds was just starting in Florida. Dairy Queens were around, but they were mostly just for ice cream and milk shakes. When the milk shakes went to 35 cents, we had to stop buying them because they were too expensive.
Here’s where we are today
- No prayer in schools
- Ipads in schools instead of Big Red pencils
- Hundreds of 24/7 hr. TV channels (some still showing I Love Lucy!)
- Teens spend more time now on the Internet than watching TV.
- Average house sells for $330,000
- Average car sells for $30,700 with gas at $3.89/gallon.
- Polio is virtually eradicated
- Sex is risk free with contraception. Even AIDS seems to have lost its scariness!
Life has changed a lot!
Here’s my point: Who in 1953 was thinking that in 2013 our world would be as different as it is today?
Who was thinking that in just 60 years,
- both parents would have to work,
- that a fast-growing percentage of homes would have only one parent,
- that same-sex marriage would be the issue of the day,
- that Christians would be marginalized culturally,
- that a drug culture would undermine our sense of security more than the threat of nuclear war
So what will life in the USA be like in 2073? There is a lot of talk about how we want to leave the world for our grandchildren, but I’m not so sure we can even imagine what the world might be like then.
History does not believe in straight lines, so I’m not terribly concerned that the trends of today inevitably lead to their logical end!
Christians have a real advantage in this kind of world: we know where we came from, we know whose we are, and we know where we are going! That’s not entirely a metaphysical statement.
Having a framework to live within is a real help for dealing with a runaway culture. We don’t know what diseases will threaten us in the future, we don’t know what political threats are waiting to be born, we don’t know whether technology will embellish the future or darken it, and we don’t know if our environment will continue to serve us or will retaliate and threaten our existence.
We don’t know what the future will be, but we can live in the days that each of us has with confidence and certainty that our lives are part of God’s plan.
We are not deists. We believe God was active in the world on Day One, has been involved and in control every day since, and will continue His work until the day of Redemption, when all of Creation will be made True!
“In Him we live and move and have our very being!”