Something happens somewhere, it proves to be popular, people latch onto it and it captures the imagination for a season. It might be something you eat or something you wear. It could be a catchphrase or a way of looking at the world. Whatever it is, it makes its mark on the culture at that time and you can mark time by the trends of the day. There is a degree of social acceptability if you join in the trend as there is a degree of mockery given to those who don’t latch onto the craze.
I remember when I was at school fuss would be made about consoles and particular games for those consoles. There was some envy on my part that my friends had the games and the consoles but my parents were not in the position to prioritise it. Something that I wasn’t as fussed about was the amount of attention given to clothing brands and styles that certainly occupied the time of school friends. To look cool you had to wear this type of clothing from that label. Failure to do so made you ‘sad’. Thankfully for me, my Dad in particular was not bothered about that at all and his relaxed noncommittal approach rubbed off on me.
That’s not to say my Dad was completely ignorant of trends. There was one particular trend he jumped on and never got off. Someone told him about Jesus Christ. My Dad would have been in his 30’s so he was fairly savvy about things in the world, he was familiar with Christianity on a nominal basis. This was different, though. This wasn’t about occasionally turning up to a building to go through some meaningless rituals. This was about what mattered in life, who mattered in life, what life was about anyway.
My Dad was so gripped by the good news he heard about Jesus that he jumped onto it wholeheartedly. My Dad is not given to that much in terms of emotional outbursts and the like. I know him to be a man of great equanimity. Little fazed him. Yet I can still see him now in the gathering of the saints and in expressing his love for Jesus there would be those unforgettable expressions of unbridled gratitude, joy and praise. It was very clear to me that Jesus meant the world to my Dad.
Once Dad jumped onto that trend, he didn’t jump off, even when others were interested in a new trend. Some informed my Dad that he wasn’t going with the flow of the way society was changing and how things were ‘progressing’. My Dad’s lifestyle was his response. He was going with the flow, alright, it just happened to be a different flow to what other people were on.
Going with the flow for my Dad was much more about the flow of the Spirit. It didn’t have to agree with what was trendy. It didn’t have to be popular with most. It did have to be on the flow of what God wanted in his life.
That example my Dad set wasn’t verbalised to any of his offspring, but we got the message. It is very important to go with the flow – even if it goes against the trend.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden