What Makes You Feel Old?

I recently learned they’ve stopped teaching cursive writing in most schools. Print? Yes. Script? Not anymore. No longer are children learning how to link the letters of each word in a continuous flow.

But it’s not just the children. When was the last time you hand-wrote a letter? Or put a stamp on an envelope that wasn’t a bill? Even bills and commercial exchanges are being completed via the Internet. This past week, I completed a writing contract with an e-signature and returned it via email.

Just thinking about it makes me feel old. Between this and the perennial struggle to remember the year (anyone else been practicing turning 2s into 3s as they write the new year?), I’m acutely aware of the passing of time.

Remember Star Trek (the original television series)? Many of the futuristic tools used on the show are now commonplace in our lives. Personal computers, voice-activated computing (anyone have the newest iPhone?) tablets and styluses, wireless earpieces, and GPS tracking are just a few of the innovations originally imagined for the 23rd century. The future is now.

But no matter what happens, one thing will never change. The one, true, living God is immutable – He never changes. The Bible tells us:

Psalm 102:27 – “But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”

Malachi 3:6 – “I the Lord do not change.”

Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

James 1:17 – “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Why is it a good thing that God does not change? Because we can rely on Him. We can rely on His unchanging mercy and grace. His unchanging comfort and compassion. His unchanging guidance and protection.

My world is constantly changing, but my God will never change. Now excuse me while I go write a letter…in longhand!

What is it about our world that makes you feel old?


Class of 2016 Mindset

My nephew started college this month. If that didn’t make me feel old, the newest edition of the Beloit College Mindset List certainly did.

If you’re not familiar with the Mindset List, Beloit College has been releasing a new version every August since 1998. It describes the worldview of students who will graduate college in the year of the list’s title. The first list, issued in 1998, profiled the graduating class of 2002.

I thought I knew my nephew pretty well. After all, I grew up with his mom. And I watched him grow up. But I hadn’t stopped to consider how different his perspective is from mine.

For example, according to the 2016 List, in the worldview of my nephew and his classmates:

  • They have never seen an airplane “ticket.”
  • They despise being separated from contact with similar aged friends.
  • Gene therapy has always been an available treatment.
  • History has always had its own channel.
  • Before they purchase an assigned textbook, they will investigate whether it is available for rent or purchase as an e-book.
  • NBC has never shown A Wonderful Life more than twice during the holidays.
  • There has always been a Santa Clause.
  • The Twilight Zone involves vampires, not Rod Serling.
  • They watch television everywhere but on television.
  • Point-and-shoot cameras are soooooo last millennium.
  • Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive baseball games played has never stood in their lifetimes.
  • Women have always piloted war planes and space shuttles.
  • Star Wars has always been just a film, not a defense strategy.
  • The Metropolitan Opera House in New York has always translated operas on seatback screens.
  • Simba has always had trouble waiting to be king.
  • Little Caesar has always been proclaiming “Pizza Pizza.”
  • Selena’s fans have always been in mourning.
  • Thousands have always been gathering for “million-man” demonstrations in Washington, D.C.
  • Genomes of living things have always been sequenced.

There’s more, but I think I’ve made my point. No need to mention my memories of record players and eight-track tapes and rotary telephones. We’re not just from two different generations. We’re from two different worlds. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make me feel old.

Still, with all the changes – and more to come! – I’m glad I can count on one thing that never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). That gives me comfort despite my changing world. How about you?

What other changes have impacted your world in the past eighteen years? Check out the 2016 list for more observations!