I don’t know why it is but the saying is true that the older you get the more time flies. It is already past the halfway mark for 2007 and I have to wonder where the time went.
Of course as we all know, Independence day celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, declaring independence from Great Britain. We celebrate it mostly by taking the day off work (it’s a Federal holiday), having picnics and going to see some fireworks.
I am celebrating Independence day by staying in the bed until 8:30 and maybe taking a bike ride a little later in the day. Also, my tomatoes are getting to independent and I am going to have to tie them up a bit if I want to have something to eat a little later on in the season. My wife is at the local farmer’s market selling bundles of red, white, and blue flower bouquets. She loves to pick them and people love to have them on their tables—and that’s a good thing for all of us.
I can’t help thinking that from the day we are born we are all working towards our own independence—first from parents and then from peers and then from social convention. I expressed mine by quitting school with only 3 or 4 months left to graduation and living in New York, San Francisco and Seattle before flying to Europe and hitch-hiking around for a couple of months.
Of course it was 1967 and what was latter to become known as the summer of love with the Human-Be-In in San Francisco on January 14th and the subsequent Central Park Be-In in New York on Easter Sunday, March 26th, 1967. My memories are rather selective now but I was in Central Park on that Easter Sunday with the other 10,000 people who showed up in the Sheeps Meadow (how’s that for a metaphor) that day. You will have to take my word for it that I ended up sitting with Allen Ginsberg and watched while he played his finger symbols and harmonium and chanted whatever it was he was into at the time.
To me he was the king of the beatniks but I remember thinking—as I soaked up everything that was happening around me—that he was really just a rather small man who wrote poetry and lived on the lower east side of Manhattan, just a few streets over from where I was staying. Granted, he was a force to be contended with but was a mortal man and not the almost immortal icon he had been turned into. I was so young and naive I have to admit that I didn’t even know he was a homosexual until someone told me about that part of his life later on in the week. He had invited me over and I guess that piece of information (at that time in my life) confused me enough I never ended up visiting him.
As summer approached in New York, a group of us flew to San Francisco to check out the scene there. Haight-Asbury was in full bloom by the time we arriived and of course we fit right in. There were concerts in Golden Gate Park and free clinics and food in Panhandle Park. There were hipppy shops all up and down the streets and I can remember sitting on the sidewalk and watching the tour buses pass by with people looking out the windows at the long-haired, barefoot revolution that was supposed to be taking place. By the middle of June we had moved to Seattle with people who were heading north into Canada and from there, I worked my way back to New York and then on to Europe, where I stayed until working my way back on a ship bound to America.
As I write I am aware—in whatever expanded or somewhat vague sense—that I am a part of that generation that is being called back to God during The Call Nashville, an event that will take place on the 40 year anniversary of the summer of love. This event will take place this Saturday, 07.07.07, and seeks to fullfill the call of Joel to declare a holy fast, return to the Lord and He will once again pour out His Spirit on the land and its people.
I am not attending the event although I know many people who are going. I was in Washington DC on October 4th, 1997 during a Promise Keepers event when a 100,000 or more men stood in the gap for their friends and familes. I guess big crowds are not as exciting anymore as they were way back then.
The call will be a lot of young people praying for a nation that has forgotten a lot of its spiritual heritage or relegated it to a very narrow view of what it is supposed to look like. I guess in a way they are praying for me forty years after having been a part of a major shift in the American belief structure.
In many ways, that path led me to the one I am on today and I am by no means ashamed of it or going to minimize it. God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
I will have my eyes and ears open on Saturday and hopefully be alert to hearing and receiving whatever the Lord has for me on that day. If something needs to be broken off, I am ready—if something is waiting to be released, I am ready as I would hope we will all be.
It is a new day and a new ride—enjoy yours.