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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.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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5 Responses to Nostalgia

  1. paulfg says:

    As Gordon would say … or perhaps not. Your point yesterday and the young/gadgets – I think this one and that message are both linked somehow?

  2. Wm Haney says:

    I have caught myself doing this with my past. Namely wishing to relive a trip I took in September of 1992, past trips to Missouri Valley Conference Basketball Tournaments, and the freedoms of my between marriages. I even took time off work to observe some of those moments and pretty much just wasted vacation time and the rolled eyes of my family. Namely last year when I observed the twentieth anniversary of my September trip. Easy to do when this are not going well. I sometimes sell Jesus short. I wish to think in the afterworld, God lets you go forward and back and embraces your love and worship of him. i hope.

    I hoped in vain that I could relilve and recreate moments like that. Sometimes I get a dilusional thinking that things like that is who I am. Perhaps the mortal sense. It is transistional time for me. I remind myself the logistics are not there anymore. One thing is that TWA is no longer in business. Logistics is not needed in worshipping our Lord. I risk going off th subject.

    • Don Merritt says:

      William, I think we all do that sometimes, and most of us come away saying the same things you just said… until we wander off again! You, me and most everyone else need to learn to better focus our attention where it willbenefit both ourselves and others, on our relationship with our Lord. Have a great one, old firend!

  3. Pingback: Of Nostalgia and the Impossible Memory | Hip to the Grave

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