The old lion roamed his territory with the ease and authority of one who had never known anything other than being the king of the jungle. Sure, he was getting old, his joints were aching, and his roar was far worse than his bite, but as long as the younger lions didn’t get a hint of this, as long as he could still project authority and supremacy, the old lion knew the inertia of his reputation alone would carry him for years to come.
The young lions were getting brazen. With far more frequency than in his younger years the old lion realized his resolve was being tested, and the testing of his mettle had become a commonplace thing.
Although far from his intellectual peak, the old lion still had enough sense to realize that the instant one of the young lions bloodied him, the instant his vulnerability was established, it was done. The game was over.
Even his roars seemed hollow in the old lion’s ears. He knew there was very little he could back them up with, and if push came to shove, and a worthy opponent stepped up to challenge him, he would have to back down and retreat.
It is a pitiable thing to live off one’s former glories, to live in the nostalgia of when one was on top of the world, long ago, and a generation away. Every story they tell is of the past, and every achievement and triumph is tethered to what they once were, not what they’ve become.
From the night janitor at the local grocer who will tell anyone willing to hear how they scored the winning touchdown during the final minute of the state championship finals, to the graveyard shift waitress who is quick to remind her co-workers she was once prom queen of her high school, some people just get trapped in the past and are never able to excel past that moment when they perceived they reached the height of their accomplishments.
It’s sort of sad when an individual does it. It’s downright dangerous when an entire nation does it.
We are the old lion. Our best days are behind us morally, economically, and militarily. We are not the nation we once were, and everyone can see it. Yet, we’re still living in the nostalgia of past glories and off the hard won reputation of a generation largely returned to the dust.
I’ve said the following often, and to many people because I believe in the veracity of the statement. If it was the generation of the 1940s confronting what is currently happening in the world and not this present generation, I would hold out hope that we could right the ship, and rediscover the strength of humility and power of repentance.
Anyone who has studied history will tell you people were just different back then. They were more willing to help their neighbor, they were more willing to lend a hand, they were less self-involved, less self-obsessed and more willing to recognize God’s hand in the wellbeing of their nation and government.
We are no longer the young lion of yesteryear, but a grizzled, and in many respects feeble lion whose constant hope is that another lion won’t want to pick a fight. Sure, we’re still a match for the lesser beasts of the jungle, we can still take on a zebra, a hyena, perhaps an antelope even, but a pack of young, hungry, fit, and bloodthirsty lions we are no match for, and we know it.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.