Olen Wesley Chambers (my paternal grandfather, also known as “Big Daddy”) was born May 13, 1906. Olivia Walker Reed was born May 13, 2020. It’s interesting to me that my grandfather and my granddaughter have the same birthday, separated by 114 years, and the same initials.
When I think about Big Daddy and all the changes he saw in his lifetime I’m amazed. He lived through the Great Depression with a family to feed and care for. Daddy was born in 1929 so technically he lived through the depression also, but probably doesn’t remember too much about it since he was so young. But most all of the conveniences we take for granted came about during Big Daddy’s lifetime. The telephone was invented in the late 1800s but wasn’t common in many houses until much later; same is true for electricity. Cell phones were not even a dream on the horizon and now kids have their own phones. Social media, the internet, even the computer, not even in Big Daddy’s field of view or imagination. He knew farming, plowing with mules, hard work and long days. I remember when Big Mama and Big Daddy enclosed their back porch and put a washer and dryer there. Until that point Big Mama did the laundry in the basement with an old washing machine similar to this:
Then she hung the clothes outside on a line to dry. Even Mama hung clothes outside to dry for many years and I can’t recall exactly when she got an “inside dryer”.
Thinking about all of the changes in Big Daddy’s life makes me wonder what little Olivia will see during her lifetime. Technology is developing so rapidly I can’t even conceive what she will experience and see.
I remember my employer building and furnishing an entire room with seating for around 20 people for video-teleconferencing. It cost a lot of money and in its day was pretty sophisticated. Now, as we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic anyone with a computer can host a meeting on Zoom (or a similar platform) and the App is free.
So, no, my imagination just won’t carry me far enough to dream things this baby girl will see in the next 100 years or so. But it’s exciting to think about it.
*NOTE: After posting the above, I learned of the death of Ravi Zacharias yesterday . In my opinion, Ravi was one of the century’s most prominent Christian apologists and I would put him right beside Chuck Colson and C. S. Lewis. I never had the opportunity to hear him speak, but I’ve watched him on You Tube many times and have a couple of his books. He was remarkable, and somehow, the world seems a little empty today. Rest in peace, Ravi.