It meant something like, “just keep doing what ever you feel is the cool, far out, groovy, right on, hip thing to do. Don’t stop just because the Establishment doesn’t approve. Stay with it, outlast the squares and the creeps. Be your own freaky self, paint your own picture, carve your own initials. Sing your own song, write your own story, live your own life!”
Keep on truckin’!
It went well with my “traveling” lifestyle; hitch hiking here and there, city to city, just because I could. I thought of myself as a free spirit, a cool freak (for sure, man). I was a happening cat, dude. The Establishment was always harassing me, though. Something about me being only 16 years old. Some people just never could understand.
A lot has changed in my life since then. I’m no longer the hippie-wannabe; I’m actually part of the Establishment (gasp!). The things I used to pursue (like becoming a rock and roll star) don’t have the pull on me they once had. As a Christian, my focus is no longer on “doing my own thing”, but it is “finding out what pleases The Lord”. I still get to be my own freaky self, but the emphasis isn’t centered on being freaky; just on being who God wants me to be. Of course, there will always be some who consider me freaky (translated=weird).
So, a lot has changed, but the phrase “Keep on truckin'” is still just as fitting today as it was 40 years ago. Actually, it is much more appropriate!
This passage in 2 Timothy says it best: “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Timothy 4:3-5 ESV)
The way things are in the world, and the way people are ignoring God’s Truth, it is very tempting to pack up all my gear, say a final prayer for the world, and lay low until Jesus comes. To do the bare minimum, as far as any Kingdom work is concerned, pacing myself so as not to exert too much energy, lest I run out too soon. To say to myself, God, and anyone who’ll listen, “Why should I continually wear myself out for people who don’t appreciate it anyway? They don’t seem to mind they’re going to hell; why should I knock myself out for them?”
And in the midst of all those thoughts I hear The Lord say, “Son, keep on truckin’!”
The Apostle Paul wasn’t around during the 1960’s and ’70’s, so he said it a little bit different: “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV)
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 ESV)
The message is clear, no matter how it’s said. “Just keep doing what ever you feel is the cool, far out, groovy, right on, hip thing to do. Don’t stop just because the Establishment doesn’t approve. Stay with it, outlast the squares and the creeps. Be your own freaky self, paint your own picture, carve your own initials. Sing your own song, write your own story, live your own life…FOR THE GLORY OF GOD!“
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”(Colossians 3:17 ESV)
And, “KEEP ON TRUCKIN’!”