Last evening we watched episode number of 3 of "Little House on the Prairie" which aired in 1974. I could not help but cry as first I thought of how corrupt and wicked television has become the past 37 years and more importantly the differences in how people think now vs. the time depicted in the show (the 1870 s).
In the episode we watched the father literally walked 100 miles to find work after a hail storm flattened the wheat crop. How many people today would walk 1 mile, let alone 100 miles, to find a job? Back 140 years ago there were no social programs to care for the poor, sick or elderly. Families did whatever they had to do to survive, even if it meant walking 100 miles or constantly moving to find work.
While "pa" was gone working at a quarry, "ma" and the other women close by went out into the fields and salvaged what they could from the ruined wheat crop. When one of them complained about how this would be done, the book of Ruth was referenced. How many television shows today would dare use a Biblical character or reference in their storyline?
My maternal great grandparents lived in the Flint Hills in Kansas where the only thing that grows is tall grass. They tried (and failed) to raise crops on that land. Needless to say they lived in poverty unknown by 99.99999% of the people alive today. My great grandfather was also an itinerant preacher and he used the donations given him to supplement the meager farm income to feed the huge family.
I remember hearing stories of how he would be gone for months at a time with no way to communicate as he slowly made his way around the circuit. People back in those days did not have to be in touch 20 times a day to survive. They were thankful to get one letter a week or even a month. They did what they had to do to take care of their families and get by.
I have read about how life was out on the prairie in the 1800's all my life and I remain awestruck by the ability of those pioneers to sacrifice everything to make a go of it just to have the opportunity to farm the most fertile land in America. Whether living in mud huts, log cabins or tents; these people did not complain about their lot in life but rather were thankful for the opportunities given to them.
If people today spent far less time complaining about all they do not have and instead invested that time in giving thanks for all they DO HAVE, there would be far less turmoil, crime and selfishness destroying our society. We have all become so spoiled with all the wonderful things invented the past 100 years that we have lost sight of the great truth that the greatest things in life are not purchased but rather earned through hard work and provided through simple trust in God.
You are so right!
How many of us grew up thinking that people a few generations ago had things so hard and we are so much better off because we have all these modern conveniences? When, in reality, people from those days long ago had their priorities in order and strove to lead godly lives. They were so grateful for all their blessings, from a roof over their head to food on the table. Children were content with a new pair of mittens that their momma had knit as a Christmas present. Now a days there is so much greed, so much emphasis on the "perfect" gift that people forget that God already gave us the "perfect" gift in His son, Jesus.
The trend today is to build houses to resemble mini-mansions with huge closets so people can store all the trappings of a "successful" life. But aren't these "things" that people "have to have" only distractions keeping us from what truly matters? And sadly, for many, they are guilty of idolatry without even knowing it. The worship of "things" instead of God...yikes!
Give me the simpler days of old where families were grateful for their blessings, willing to help others, and not afraid to mention the name of Jesus for fear of not being politically correct.
As I read this, I thought about my own maternal grandfather. I don't think he actually walked 100 miles but he was raising a large family in central Iowa (eight children) during the depression. I've heard stories of how he would travel at times in search of work and... he didn't own a car. With little money, he did what so many others did. He walked and hitched rides as best as he could while my grandmother stretched produce from her garden as best she could to feed their active, growing children.
I cannot help but think... it is the difficult times which make us strong. During my own lean times, I find myself imitating the behavior I observed in my own grandmother. Taking a little bit and trying to make it stretch a long way but at the same time... remembering to give!
this reminds me of my mom raising all 9 of us without a dad in the home. you never missed a meal and holidays especially christmas and thanksgiving was always special with a big dinner home cooked. thank you lord for keeping me humble and thank you for the blessing of this blog.
Just to answer the question ... no, I wouldn't walk 100 miles to find a job and leave my family behind. Why? Mainly because in this day and age the government would lock me up for being crazy and take away my children if I did such a thing. They wouldn't see a commitment to support my family in any way that was necessary or doing what had to be done.
While I don't believe that people need the "mini mansions" they are building and believe they are entitled to nowadays and all the trappings that go with it, I do realize that we live in a society that deems us misfits if we don't subscribe to that ideology. We can't go live in a two room cabin somewhere with our children sleeping in the loft (and, gasp, sharing a bed) even if that's what we wanted to do without someone complaining that we weren't taking care of our children properly. Just sending our kids to school requires that we spend money - not to buy books or supplies but to provide them with computer disc drives and school t-shirts and money to buy pictures and they must have certain binders and ... oh yeah, the English teacher has decided she wants to be able to send all of her students messages on the internet about their homework ... and they have to have an MP3 player for music class ... and the list goes on and on.
How do we combat that mentality? You can't just turn off the tv and be rid of it nowadays when you send your children to school and they watch tv for at least half the day and play on the computer for the other half. Our kids are being indoctrinated with it no matter what we try to teach them at home.