Friday, May 8, 2020

Tang


Back in 1962, Mercury astronaut John Glenn conducted eating experiments in orbit and he chose one particular beverage mix that to be used on subsequent Gemini space flights. He chose Tang. That’s how I remember Tang, from the ads on TV telling us astronauts drank it while in space. I always wanted to try it, but in the 1970’s my mom was a big health food advocate. We got to have her homemade granola, chocolate chip cookies made with honey – not sugar – and raw milk from local Amish farms. Tang? Not a chance. I shouldn’t complain, not just because she listens to these, but because we (my two brothers and I) were never sick as kids. There had to be some connection. Let’s let her think so anyway. Interestingly enough, it would be fifty years until I finally tried it. That’s right. I bought (on Amazon of course) some sugar-free Tang powdered drink mix a couple of weeks ago, and do you know what? It’s not bad. I kind of like it. Well done, Mr. Mitchell. William Mitchell invented Tang, as well as, Pop Rocks and Cool Whip.

I mention Tang because it made me think of my childhood. Do you ever do that reminisce about times gone by? Look back at what we like to call the “good old days.” It often seems to us like it was a carefree time when all was good with the world. If only we could go back times like that.

Were they really that good? And, how far back are we talking? Back before penicillin was discovered, and we commonly died from basic infections? Back before the Surgeon General’s report on smoking was released? When I was born 45% of Americans smoked. That’s nearly half! Back before 911 was available for emergencies, before we could always be in contact with each other because we have cell phones? I remember after being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, saying to someone, “You know, there are so many medicines to control my diabetes today. So many delicious things I can eat made with a variety of sweeteners. So many sugar-free foods (like Tang!) that I can enjoy. What did people do in the 1940’s and ‘50’s?” They replied, “They died.” He was right. The good old days are not always so good. Let’s not be so quick to reject modernity and innovation.

Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said in Ecclesiastes 7:10, “Don’t long for ‘the good old days.’ This is not wise.” We are so blessed to live in the 21st century. Sure, technology can be used for good and evil, but we wouldn’t be able to go to church online, hold meetings on Zoom, or check in with family and friends through text, email, or on Facebook, right? Besides, I would never want to go back to a time before I knew Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Would you?
 
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