We are all familiar with the question, “Why can’t things be like they were in the good old days?” When we ask ourselves that question, we are conjuring up some good memories. Whether it be a hot cocoa on a cold winter day, or gathering around the grill with a group of friends during the summer, those are the types of memories that sometimes lead to that question.
When I was in high school, I longed for the days of grade school when grades didn’t matter as much. When I was in college, I longed for the days of high school (sort of) when I didn’t have to worry about deciding who I really wanted to be when I grew up. When I graduated college, I yearned for the days of being in school and united with a group of friends for a common goal. In those seasons of my life, I always wanted to get out of the season. I wanted to graduate, I wanted to be done with school, and just move on with life. Once I got there, though, I looked back and wished for the “good old days.”
This is a good way to miss life.
Life happens every minute of every day. If we spend those minutes wishing for different minutes, then we miss out on what is going on in the here and now right in front of us. Sometimes what is right in front of us is hard, uncomfortable, and we do want to be out of the situation. In the middle of a car wreck, it is right to not want to be in a car wreck anymore. I’m more writing about those instances where we feel like life has stalled, or that the expectations of life are just too much.
I can find myself wishing for when life didn’t have expectations. I was thinking about Jesus’ parable about the servant who is faithful with a little bit leading to being faithful with much earlier today. I want to be faithful with my little bit. However, when I find that the little bit is growing, sometimes I desire to go back to the little bit. I don’t want to be stretched. I want to be comfortable.
However, there is no growth in stagnation. Before long, the comfortable becomes a lump. Lumps get bitter because life is boring. Lumps don’t leave anything behind for the next generation. If we spend our lives constantly looking in the rear view mirror or looking forward wishing our lives away, we will fulfill our own prophecy. We will wish our lives away.
5 year plans, goals, and good memories are all good things. However, it all depends on what you do with them. If they lead to disillusionment and bitterness, then they did more harm then good. Instead, they should lead to us being more aware of the blessings God has given us today and bring hopeful vision for what God can do tomorrow.