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Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie?

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 poetically describes the rhythms of life, unfortunately, those rhythms do not always bring us happiness. Often, those rhythms come with disappointment and sorrow.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

As inflation hits a 40-year high, Americans everywhere are struggling to pay for basic necessities. [1] Even worse, the Federal Reserve declared at the end of the July that it intended to raise interest rates, yet again. [2]

It is therefore no surprise that many feel that America is in a time of weeping, a time of mourning, and a time of tearing down.

While Janet Yellen continued to assure Americans that hiring rates indicate a recession is not on the horizon, many expressed doubt over her words. [3]

This new economic situation seems hopeless in many ways. It evokes nostalgia for a better time in American history, a time of 1950s optimism. The bittersweet notes of Don McClean’s song “American Pie” come to mind.

In case you have not heard the story, the song memorializes the shocking deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and Jiles P. Richardson, three founders of the uniquely American genre of rock and roll, in a 1959 plane crash.

Since its release in 1971, the song has become culturally representative not only of the sudden end of an era but also of nostalgic, almost fatalistic, longing for an earlier time of cultural simplicity, e.g., “We were singin’, ‘Bye-bye, Miss American pie’/Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry/Them good old boys were drinkin’whiskey ‘n rye/And singin’, ‘This’ll be the day that I die.’”[4]

As Christians face the complexities of economic uncertainty and a pluralist society, it can become tempting to wistfully wish for a time when America was more unified, the economy was more stable, and America was stronger.

But Jesus Christ did not call us to put our faith in America, nor did He call us to be lost in nostalgia.

We are called to place our faith in Christ by 1 Thessalonians 1:3 “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

By placing our hope in Christ, we are looking forward to building a better future as Isaiah 43:18-19 teaches us ““Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

That is not to say that we must forget the greatness that America has seen, but we must recognize that we are in a new season.

While it is fine to mourn for the things that are past, we must not become fatalistically stuck in history. Christians must be ready to move forward and recognize that our hope is not in the policies of the Federal Reserve but in God and the power of prayer.

We must endure and run the race before us. Inflation may come for our finances, but it should never touch our faith.

Foundations of Truth hereby waives all claim of copyright (economic and moral) in this work and immediately places it in the public domain; it may be used, published, edited, and distributed in any manner whatsoever without any attribution or notice to Foundations of Truth.


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