I say use to because I truly believe you can grow out of the hippie mindset and become "one of them." I became one of them a long time ago, and sometimes I miss my jeans with holes in them (I still have jeans with holes in them but they are now used for painting and working in the yard). I sometimes miss my long hair because now my hair is thin and grey. I sometimes miss the ability to pack all my belongings into the car and move to another city, because now I have to be responsible and work at a job to pay for all the things we've acquired. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret not being a hippie anymore, just sometimes I miss it. There is something deep inside me that stirs my emotions when I see my younger friends (and even some of my older friends) who can still grow their hair long, pulled back into a pony-tail. Today, I would be the one with the earring, and the tattoo, and the long hair. Not spiked or red, just long. My dad hated my hair and music and we almost came to blows several times over it. I was the one who was a non-conformist, in a conformist kind of way – we were all "individuals" who looked alike. We wanted to "find ourselves" and didn't trust anyone over 30. The problem is we were always trying to find ourselves in drugs and sex and music and rebellion and Height-Ashberry hype (if you don't get this last reference you're too young to understand). But some of us never really found ourselves, and some of us are still looking. And we were users. My parent's generation is often called "The Greatest Generation." My generation? The "Me Generation." Says a lot, does it not? It was always about us. When I became a Christian I became a "Jesus Freak." We brought guitars and drums and that rebellious spirit into the church and delighted in the shock and disgust of the older generation. I suppose that's why it has always been difficult for me in the church, difficult being a Christian. I've always tried to make it about me. What could I get out of it. And usually I got nothing. I've tried to conform for such a long time but it never really set well, so I became the kind of Christian who could say all the right things but never really believed any of it, never really lived any of it. Even after I "got saved," I lived life on MY terms. I was called a stoner last night, but that isn't accurate – I was more of social smoker. The drug scene was never really my thing. But I was able to score some good stuff from my friends at church. If my parents and preacher knew what went on in our youth group they would have had a heart attack.

So when did it all change? When did I change? When did our music become the background music in an elevator? When did we become "the older generation?" It's happened oh so gradually, season after season. Time seems to mellow us, to give us perspective. We look back over our lives, not with a microscope but more of a telescope. And we realize that for those of us who are Christians, the journey to maturity, to salvation, is worked out over that lifetime – through the good times and the bad, the hard times and easy. I'm probably going to be looking through that telescope a little more on this blog than normal because it's where I'm at. And the reason for this rambling reflection? I got notice of my 35 year high school reunion. *sigh*