This is what the Lord says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16a (NLT)
The movie Jesus Revolution comes to theaters this week. I have been looking forward to seeing this film. As I have watched the trailers, I have been flooded with memories of how this event in the late 60’s early 70’s shaped my life.
I was 21 when we left for Japan. I was naive. I had little experience outside of growing up in northwestern Pennsylvania.
We were married when I was 19. We had no honeymoon since Dale needed to be back at work. So, therefore, on the way to Japan we had a few days in San Francisco while we waited for our flight overseas.
I had always wanted to go to San Francisco, especially in the 70’s. We had a glorious time there. We rented a car and drove to Sausalito which at the time was a hippie type community of artists and run down homes. It was a fascinating place to be, the air alive with all that Sausalito was. Artists, hippies, young people. To me, it was wonderful. We knew there were some Jesus Freaks in the midst of crowds and we tried to avoid them as well as the harikrishnas. We roamed all over the San Francisco area trying not to miss anything.
The day came for our flight. The sky was overcast and grey. That was when you dressed for flights. Military uniforms in public were frowned upon, after all, it was the early 70’s and military personnel were not held in esteem. So, Dale and I dressed for our flight. Him with his leisure suit and polyester shirt with the big collar and platform shoes and regulation haircut. Me, with my below the shoulder straight hair, long bangs and my fashionable pants suit, long bell bottoms and a poncho with colorful braiding around the edges, and birkenstocks. We were styling!
We landed in Japan, and began our life there. Families coming into the country were given a sponsor, someone to meet them at the airport and help them get settled. We were sponsors to a family coming into the country. We had exchanged letters and we knew they had been touched by the Jesus movement that had started in southern California and traveled up the west coast.
Looking back, meeting them at the airport was the beginning of my life changes. We were at the gate by customs and they walked out. A little boy who was seven, the woman with hair almost down to her hips and the sailor, clean cut, suit on, and carrying a guitar with stickers all over the case. My eyes immediately went to them. Jesus Saves, One Way, God is my pilot, all plastered on his guitar. I looked at Dale and in disdain I said, “Jesus Freaks.” They almost glowed even after the long flight. I immediately judged them.
They were not deterred by my judgement. As they have said, they loved us into the kingdom of God. They are still precious friends.
After becoming Jesus Freaks ourselves, we met a group of people from southern California. They became our Friday night fellowship, we worshiped,we prayed together, we saw and heard testimonies of God moving in our midst. We had an overflow of the Jesus movement on our Navy base. The teachings of Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel reached us.
The other day I wrote about the revival happening on the college campus in Asbury, Ohio. A friend wrote a comment on my facebook page concerning the revival. At first I looked at the comment and wondered how I felt about it. It ran through my mind. He quoted Joel 2:28, ““And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions.” (KNJV) He mentioned that this is not our revival, it is the young people’s.
He went on to say some things, but that is what hit me. It is the young people’s revival. When did I become the older woman who teaches the young women? When did I become the old men who dream? Inside I still feel young.
Since the 70’s we have talked about the end times. I never thought that they may come when I was old. Our young people for the most part have never experienced the worship like it’s happening now. They have never experienced the joy of corporate worship, standing with raised hands beside a total stranger and yet feeling a kinship with them. They haven’t heard testimonies in abundance of God’s salvation or healing or goodness. They have experienced their parent’s church or have never experienced church.
This week I have been both convicted and challenged and saddened. The excitement of the Jesus movement lives deep inside me. When I think of those times joy floods my being. I feel young, alive and those in my memories are young and vibrant. When I think of the Lord, in prayer, in church, I am young and alive, expecting to see what I saw so many years ago. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NKJV)
I turned 68 last week. When I see clips of the revival, tears flood my eyes and my being praises God for the outpouring of His presence. These students and people who have been able to be in the midst of this will never be the same for they have experienced the power of the living God. I have to remind myself that although the 22 year old girl is still a part of me, the older woman I am today longs to have the unending energy of youth.
There is a reason old men dream dreams. Our days are settled, and for the most part quiet. The Lord has not left us, He just moves differently in us. We do not have the energy of the youth. We have lived our lives and know without doubt that our God never leaves us, that He has provided for our every need. He has walked with us through illness, through financial difficulties, through struggles with spouses and children. He is our comfort and friend.
The youth is discovering this. Some, for the first time. Yes, Lord, revive me. Your outpouring on the youth is happening, but, I know that You are not a respecter of persons and You can pour out revival even to this older generation.