Those were the days, Those Good Ole days!

Those were the days, Those Good Ole days!

by: Pastor Annette Barker, Christian Unity Baptist Church, Bellwood, Illinois

Just wanted to share a few moments of reflections I had while reading a recent social media post with you.  Most of you may be familiar with these similarities as I added my own sweet memories.  I say you may be familiar with it because if you’re like me one who grew up and enjoyed your early teen years and hot summer nights of the 70’s you probably can truly relate to this.

My hot summer teen years were some good years.  My, those were the days.  The days where not only did everybody know everybody, but every spoke to everybody.  I with grew up on 18th street in Maywood, Illinois during the times when everyone blew their horns or waved when passing by.     Proper English was “Hey Yall” for (Y’ALL) was a proper noun (AIN’T) and (FINNA) were definitely correct words that no one ever frowned upon.  We went outside, sat on front porches, played, got dirty, hot and thirsty. Drank water straight from the water hose and if that didn’t work ran in the house (in the back door cause you couldn’t dare come in the front door after playing in the hot sun all day) and drank water straight from the kitchen faucet.  Yes I said faucet, not the sink, the “faucet”.  After playing time we came in and EEERBODY washed their hands, and ate whatever our mom or granny had cooked; and yes we all sat down at the table, said grace and ate together. However, while playing for snacks we often ate apples & pears from the neighbor’s trees without asking or washing off the fruit.  It was a joy for the neighbor to see you picking and eating your mid-day snack from their yard tree. Yes, those were the days…we played “PIGGY” in the streets, baseball with 7 people, 1 bat, 3 gloves, some rocks or cardboard was used for bases & left field was always a out. Yes, those were the days, we played the same game all day long. Played tackle football in the alley and we weren’t AFRAID OF NOTHING BUT STRAY DOGS (and most of them knew us, and left us alone).  Double Dutch, hop scotch jumping jacks and hide & seek were the “hit” games.  Catch a girl – kiss a girl was the highest and most flattering form of intimacy while holding hands in public certified you as “going together”.  The street lights was our alarm clock as we headed home to meet or beat the “be in by Sunset CURFEW”.  Running, hoping and skipping home was always a joy while seeing who could catch the most lighting bugs. We’d catch- em, put-em in a jar or make our very own designer light up earrings for the night. Yes, those were the days.  Not take out, but home cooked Fried Chicken was the only kind of chicken we ate with Kool-Aid set aside as  the HOUSE WINE. School was a must and church was mandatory. Yes, those were the days… Saturday evenings filled the house with the aroma of turkey & dressing, collard greens, sweet potatoes, macaroon & cheese, hot water cornbread, peach cobbler, fresh baked pies, and three layers Chocolate and Caramel cakes.  The tea bags were all lined up on the kitchen counter ready for our Sunday’s special beverage, good old fashion sweet tea.    Hot water ran in the bathtub filled with “Mr. Bubble”  making sure we’d be nice and clean on the outside when we got to the church house so we could nice & cleaned on the inside. Yes, those were the days and Saturday nights were no joke. Clothes were spray starched ironed; and ready for Sunday school, while the “church shoes” were shinned, polished and ready for a good old fashion Sunday shout.  Don’t even think about trying to oversleep and miss church the next morning; and when you got there if you DISRESPECTED your elders, you’re gonna get HIT with whatever was close by and the Holy Ghost too!  Yes those were the days!

Nearly everyone we were in contact with had the same close knit family values. Yes, there were times we didn’t get along each other and even when the adults disagreed back then, people respected one another and always looked out for each other’s children. Those were the days…Life was refreshing as we knew it for bigotry and confrontations were often covered up or discussed in private. The Preachers & Politician’s were respected, policemen were honorable, and firemen were our hero’s.  The outside of the church building itself was a holy ground, for when people walked by they would hold their heads down, put out their cigarettes and  silence their conversations.

TV only had 5 channels. 2, 5, 7, 9 & sometimes 32.  Oh yeah channel 62 if you wanted a little church before Sunday morning.  At a certain time all you could hear was a fuss because the stations would shut down for the night. Meaning you didn’t watch TV all night long. However, the hour of 10pm held a certain respect all by itself as our parents would wave and shush us down.  It was like Jesus Himself was in the room on the cross for truly we could not say a mumbling word.  Yes, you guessed it!   It was time for the 10 O’clock news.

Prayer was allowed in schools, your job’s lunchroom and other public places. Crime rates were low, spirits were high and the love of life and for life were of true value with great moral standards for mankind.

True as we get older, life changes. Life issues are more challenging but life values and the value of life itself should never ever change.  The reason the world is in so much chaos and confusion is not because the world itself has changed so much, but because the people in the world has change.   People have left and abandoned true old fashion pure standards of morals ethics, principles and most of all love and respect for themselves, one another and yes, God.   If we can only turn back to God we can turn back to those good ole days.

No, maybe we can’t physically turn back the hands of time with materialistic views such as actually picking fruit from your neighbors tree. (most don’t have fruit trees anymore) but we can do it with moral values.  Morally we can turn it back by striving and living the fruits of spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love; joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith Meekness, temperance” Galatians 5:22 & 23.

Yes, we can bring those days back if we stop turning our backs on God and simply turn back to God.     “ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”.  2 Chronicles 7:14

So come on people let’s make that change by making that turn.  Let’s turn from our wicked ways so our God can heal our land. Let’s go back to those good ole days!