Pop culture is a culture that does not enculturate, a culture does not discipline. It is therefore an oxymoronic culture.
In a biblical culture a man expects his great grandchildren to read what he has read, sing what he has sung, listen to what he has listened to. In an evanescent culture, like the one that surrounds us, a man expects to have all his cultural experiences buried with him.
Future Men, Douglas Wilson
Fourth child on the way, oldest hitting double digits this year, I’ve been thinking a lot of legacy recently. Other happenings in my life have forced me to as well. Heck, it’s one of the reasons I’ve gotten enamored with woodworking. I’ve been a software engineer my whole life. Nothing I’ve make lasts beyond a few years. And it’s not even like an old phone model where, sure it’s no longer in production, but there are millions of them sitting around collecting dust. No, my work is literally just deleted and forgotten. Evanescent. And that describes much of what is around us today. I have toys from my childhood that are still in great condition despite 30+ years since they were unboxed. Toys today barely last a couple years. I could write on this a lot, but most of us feel it. Take worship music. How many songs from a decade ago are still played today on our stages? Our music is evanescent.
What are you passing onto your children? What will they take from your house when you pass on? Me, I’ve got a growing collection of— improving which each build— hand-made instruments. My boys want me to make them instruments. My heart says, “not yet, I’m not good enough yet,” but I know in my heart that I want to make them things they can carry into adulthood and maybe pass down to my grandchildren. The digital things will not be our inheritance. Web sites, code, apps, games. They are fleeting.
A final thought. Last night we sung Christmas carols around the table. It started with Doc Watson’s Christmas Lullaby and then the requests started. Angels We Have Heard on High (1862), Frosty (1950), Rudolph (1949), Jingle Bells (1857). These are songs I grew up singing. As I sat at the table, strumming an acoustic guitar made in the mid-1900’s, singing old songs passed down through generations I knew that one day I’d be leading my grandchildren in these same words, that my kids would be leading theirs. And they’d be laughing as they lost the melody because their 6 year old boy decided to toss in lyrics about Joker getting away.