What are some of your favorite memories? I fondly remember long, hot summer days playing basketball and riding bikes with my friends from one end of my tiny town to the other. I was fortunate to live right across the street from the “Dairy Bell,” that served delicious soft-serve ice cream, candy, burgers and fries. My friends and I and splurged our earnings from lawn mowing and odd jobs, on snacks and refreshments as we frequently visited the the drive-through window on our bikes. The whole town was our playground! We rarely played inside our homes. There were only four television channels if you counted PBS, and network programming mostly consisted of the afternoon soaps. Video games were non-existent. DVD players or VCRs hadn't yet been invented, either. So, if the weather was bad, we would either have to play board games, invent our own games or build model cars. Those were the days!
This past Sunday, we recognized our 2016 high school and college graduates in the morning worship service. Seeing those graduates, I was reminded of how much has changed since the class of 1994 graduates were recognized at Lane Avenue Baptist Church, the first of 23 graduating classes that I have worked with in our youth group. I also realized that the 2016 high school graduates were not yet even born when I recognized that first graduating class!
It was rare that any of the students in those classes from the 1990’s had computers at home or a cellular phone. Some of them had Nintendo video consoles attached to their enormous tube television sets, but handheld gaming devices were still several years away. None of them had cellular phones until well into the 2000’s, and I can recall pagers being the craze among teenagers. I was amazed when a youth carrying her dad’s pager, demonstrated to me that it was capable of streaming sports scores and news headlines on a tiny LCD display. Today, it’s hard for a youth to be separated, even for a few minutes from his or her smartphone! Technology marches forward, and today’s youth have exciting futures and incredible opportunities in store for them. Congratulations Class of 2016 and may the Lord bless all of you in your future endeavors!