Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

January 27, 2013

VASICEK: A lot has changed in Kokomo since 1983

Faith and good relationships still are timeless truths

This is my 30th year in Kokomo; Dec. 1 marked my 29th anniversary as pastor of the church I serve.

The years do seem to pass more quickly; I have a theory about that. When one is 5 years old, a year is 20 percent of his or her life — a good chunk. When one is 50, a year is just 2 percent of one’s life. That’s why the years seem to pass much more quickly as we age.

We have witnessed major changes in our community during my time here. Delco once reigned as the main employer, with Chrysler a distant second. Now Chrysler is king, with Delphi an important but moderate player. The Gas Tower is a memory. The top restaurants of the past — The Gold Rush, The Big Wheel — are but memories.

Culturally, the trends we see today had their courses set years ago: women playing key roles in the work force, dissolving families, cohabitation, acceptance of the gay lifestyle, more government involvement in health care — even the rising atheist/agnostic movement. All Americans had to do was to glance at Western Europe to see our social future. The erosion of gun rights is but another step in the European direction. Although I do not agree with this direction, I do not deny its grip upon us.

Many changes — perhaps half of them — did take me by complete surprise. I had no idea, for example, that the rise of women in education and the workplace would result in the decline of masculinity. As a result, young men are often more aimless and without a clear role; the idea of “protector and provider” is considered a laughable vestige. Men need purpose, and growing numbers of men seem to have no purpose. More women are graduating from college than men, and I wonder if the trend for men is further passivity and resignation.

Thirty years ago, America’s greatest enemy was communism. Part of that danger involved the USSR, an empire that I thought would outlive me. Although the satellite nations are free — and some have become good friends to Uncle Sam (like Poland, for example) — the Russian leadership is troublesome. It seems that Putin intentionally befriends nations that are unfriendly toward the U.S. Still, the situation is greatly improved from the days of the Cold War.

The “War on Terror” was a surprise. Much of this conflict is driven by Islamic extremism, including the Iranian threat. The war is waged on a number of fronts. Being distracted by Afghanistan and Iraq, we may be unaware of the broader problem. A BBC article offers the British perspective:

“UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said that Islamist extremists in North Africa pose a ‘large and existential threat’ — a comment he made following the siege of a gas facility in Algeria, where dozens of people, nearly all of them foreigners, were killed.

“‘It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months,’ Mr Cameron said.”

Let’s move on to surprises spurred by technology. Who would have thought, for example, that Newsweek magazine would no longer be published as a hard copy? Who would guess that the Internet would make the revered encyclopedia irrelevant? Our students and our doctors come into the room with their laptops, and we read via our Kindles. Our bills come to us electronically, and many schools have gone paperless. Facebook broadcasts all we care to share to hundreds of people. They know what we are reading, what we are watching on TV, and what we cooked for dinner.

The idea of a portable phone that could fit in purse or pocket seemed impossible, though predicted in the very early 1980s. But who would have guessed that we would text one another, or that our “smartphones” could connect to a massive network of computers we call the Internet?

Like time and tide which wait for no man, change marches onward. Fortunately, the things that make life richest — like faith and good relationships — are timeless. Eventually our humanity will call us back to those simple truths, ideas that transcend the times.

Ed Vasicek is pastor of Highland Park Church and a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at edvasicek@att.net.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: Fleeting canal era had lasting impact on state Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. In 1825, the Erie Canal was completed to great fanfare. Cannon fire, parades, balls and speeches celebrated the speed and ski

    July 30, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller