Jump the shark

Posted: Monday, July 11, 2016 | Alphonso Ashworth | Pop Culture

Have we reached low tide in America? Have the waters of prosperity receded to the point where we can now say American is about to "jump the shark"?

That term is urban slang meaning you can't get any lower in a given situation. We hear the voices from politicians and church leaders as they preach from their podiums that America's better days still lie ahead. But for many, their words are noisy and as confusing as clanging brass.

Quite frankly, most Americans are tired of treading in mud. Their economic situation has become sluggish. For the last eight years, the GDP has remained below three percent. To put this in perspective, this has never happened in the history of this nation. Most employees’ wages and jobs are retreating, so some find more comfort in staying out of the workforce, resting comfortably in the arms of a government that promises to give them a better deal. The only requirement is your trade of any chance at being responsible for the hope of some future entitlement -- nothing but bait for the shark.

Those who have jobs are starving for an increase in pay. In urban communities, payday loan companies are the fastest growing businesses. For the poor, winning the lottery is a close second when it comes to obtaining the American dream. Payday loan establishments come in so many flavors, they could be mistaken for ice-cream parlors. In a sense, payday loans are like free candy; they’ll leave many takers with huge cavities … in their wallets.

Talk about jumping a shark. Once you dive in the water with one of these "snidely whiplashes," your chance of survival is slim to none.

Layer this on top of a country that is increasingly divided socially, economically, linguistically, and culturally, and what you have is an explosive batter. Someone just needs to strike a match and light the fuse.

So, where lies the true promise? How do we avoid a shark in shallow waters? Easy; do as Paul told Timothy:

“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.” --2 Timothy 4:3-4

Many are treading in spiritually shallow water, unaware of the dangers lying in wait; this shark’s name is Satan.

Also, take heed of the words of Peter: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” --1 Peter 5:8.