When I used to hear Pat Boone on the radio in the old days (or see him on TV), I expected to either hear a commercial for a Christian retreat center or a song. Alas, those times are over. In the past two days, I’ve seen and/or heard Pat promoting both walk-in bathtubs and pain relievers. How far we’ve fallen (or aged, as it were).
I remember seeing a young Pat Boone in a starring role when I was a kid. Right there on the enormous, silver screen, he was the protagonist in the great Jules Verne classic, Journey to the Center of the Earth. He and Arlene Dahl journeyed with James Mason to a land beneath our own. It was glorious! Well, it seemed glorious in 1959. That, of course, is the key—it was 1959. I was nine years old, and Pat Boone was twenty-five. Many drops of water have streamed over the proverbial dam (or under its sister bridge) since then.
“It was a bit unsettling…”
While it’s understandable that the eighty-four-year-old Boone would be hawking walk-in bathtubs, it was a bit unsettling to see him in the tub itself. I suppose it will sell more tubs if he demonstrates their comfort and safety, but it’s just one of those things you can’t unsee. Fortunately, you only get to peer at his torso above the armpits. Still, it’s not a commercial I want to watch over and over again.
I don’t mean to be hard on Pat, though. Frankly, I wish I looked as good as he does. Some things in life just aren’t fair. I’m merely using him as an example of how time refuses to stand still.
Dylan and the Byrds
In that famous chapter in Ecclesiastes about everything having its time (the one Bob Dylan and the Byrds made famous in the sixties), the preacher tells us that God “has made everything beautiful in its time.” Apparently, though Pat and I are no longer beautiful on the outside, the Lord still thinks a lot of us (and you). It also states in that pericope that God “has also set eternity in the human heart.”
Living in eternity definitely sets things in a different perspective. Pat and I don’t have to be quite so concerned about gravity messing up our fine physiques or addling our brains. We still care about that stuff, of course. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing commercials for walk-in bathtubs and painkillers. Well, HE wouldn’t at least (they’ve never asked me to do one as yet).
Maybe the best line in that entire chapter is verse twelve. It says, “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.” I totally agree, and I suppose that’s why Pat is letting everyone in on the tubs and pills. We’re still living, so tubs and pills are yet highly relevant. He’s doing good by informing us of the latest developments in each. Keep up the good work, Pat.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]