As we move into the Christmas Season, many of us might tend to become a little bit nostalgic, recalling those wonderful days of childhood Christmases, the ‘good old days’ and good feelings. We might wish that we could go back to those times when everything seemed better somehow. It’s easy to do.
We also know that we can’t go back in time!
I don’t know about you, but I doubt that I’m going to be 10 again any time soon, but I wish I could, because back then somebody else did the hard work, the worrying and figuring out how to get by. I just ate the food, played the games and opened the presents!
I heard an interesting observation the other night on a TV show from, of all people Gordon Ramsey, who shouted at a restaurant owner, “You are nostalgic about something that didn’t work!” I wonder how often all of us are like that?
People are nostalgic about things that happened years ago. Churches are nostalgic about things from the past that didn’t work 40 years ago. Politicians are nostalgic about Programs that haven’t worked in decades. Yet all the time we are willing ourselves backward, things around us are moving forward. I’m not here to talk about politicians, and I’ll tackle churches another time, today let’s think about our relationship with Jesus Christ.
If we are nostalgic about something in the past, can we be following Jesus forward?
Hint: Remember Lot’s wife! No, by definition we can’t be following Jesus if we are pining for something in our past; even something good from the past. Sure, it’s fine and dandy to reminisces every now and then, but we are living now. Our primary focus needs to remain on our relationship with Jesus Christ, and we must be following Him forward, not backward. We can take a trip down memory lane, but we must be sure that it is a quick trip and get back on the road through life with Jesus… and keep up. It’s almost like nostalgia can become very much like idolatry if we aren’t careful. think about it: If we are focused on a particular activity, era or circumstance for a long time, it becomes more important that our relationship with Him right now.
I doubt this is a healthy spiritual practice.