I think the older I get, the more nostalgic I get. Granted, I’m only 35 years old, but with the ever-increasing weight of changes in our society, I find myself longing for “the good old days”. Do you know what I mean?
I guess a very real part of me just hates change. And we’ve seen a massive amount of change since 2020, right? I mean, from the way we view and talk about race to the rising fuel at our gas pumps, change is all around us, and (in my opinion) mostly negative. Can’t we just go back to simpler times?
In fact, I was recently listening to the radio and heard the following song lyrics that really encapsulate what I’m feeling…
Ain’t it funny how life changes?
You wake up ain’t nothin’ the same, and life changes.
You can’t stop it; just hop on the train.
You never know what’s gonna happen.
You make your plans, and you hear God laughin’.
But those are just my feelings. What does God’s Word say? Listen to the gentle rebuke of Ecclesiastes 7:10…”Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.” I like what Al Mohler has to say on this verse, “Life does not always present us with only one obviously right path to take. Instead, we must deeply discern which path is ‘better’ than the others…But we are certainly not helped along our way by yielding to this world’s corruption, impatience, touchiness, or nostalgia.”
Wow. Don’t you just love the clarity of God’s Word? Yeah, we might be deep “into our feels”, but God’s Word gives us the right interpretive grid to discern our very funny, fickle, fleeting emotions. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with reminiscing and appreciating certain aspects of the past, but there is an unhealthy obsession with the way things used to be. Indeed, obsessing over the past, to the point that you’re resistant to change, prevents you from growth. This is not wisdom. This is, in fact, foolishness.
I guess here’s the bottom line…Yes, life changes. Things are not the same as they were. Indeed, in some ways, life is better than it used to be, and, clearly, it’s worse in some ways as well. But as a believer in Jesus Christ, my ultimate hope is not in the way things used to be in the past (i.e., “the good old days”). No, my hope is in the future. I like how the Apostle Paul phrases it in Philippians 3:20-21, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will [in the glorious future] transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
So, if you’re anything like me, and you find yourself craving the simpler time period of the past, then let the Word of God rebuke you, like it did me…”Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?'” Look to the future, not the past. Look to the heavens, not to the earth. Look to the Word, not to your feelings. Look to Christ, not to yourself. As the Mandalorian would say, “This is the way.”