Yesterday Once More

Some people live with the earnest hope that tomorrow will be yesterday.  There is ever a longing in the heart to recapture former times, and the desire may generate from varied sources.  Many people view certain periods of their youths as especially enjoyable and yearn to experience the feelings again.  This may cause them to try and recreate the remembered time in some way.  This is done at various reunions as the emotions of a former time are re-experienced though the years cannot be reclaimed.  Memories, bittersweet and otherwise, warm our hearts as we participate in functions designed to remind us of our roots and that our lives have mattered.  Such gatherings or reminiscences are valuable and can enrich us in positive ways.

On the other hand, the desire to relive the past may be destructive to the present.  At some point, we have to get out of high school and move on with our lives.  The person who cannot live in the present for the shadow of the past will ever be thwarted in future endeavors, stunted in emotional growth and frustrated.  Old relationships can keep us from establishing new ties and may intrude on current patterns if we are trapped in nostalgia in unhealthy ways.  While it can be enjoyable to reconnect with old friends on social media, many have found seeds of destruction online as they forsook firm reality with its accompanying responsibilities for a flimsy dream built on false memories and unrealistic expectations.  The past is not what it used to be.

We were meant to keep moving.  Some sharks will drown if they don’t continue to swim, and a motor that is not started and operated for a time may seize up.  A house will fall into disrepair if nothing happens other than that it is not occupied, and life is meant to be lived.  If people seldom venture out-of-doors, they will soon be homebound as their lives become smaller and smaller.  Fears increase as frontiers decrease, and memories should not replace dreams.  It is not an easy thing to be both rooted and reaching, but those who have found the most satisfaction in our world of discontent have tried to strike the balance as they move along.  I, too, feel the urge to ride the time machine forward and back and understand what is and was.

Our spiritual experiences become frozen in time, and we can be tempted to think that they cannot exist outside a specific set of circumstances.  For this reason, we try to create scenarios which belonged to former days more so than to the current state of things.  Usually, these attempts are more frustrating than fruitful.  In truth, it might be good if some of the characteristics of the past were more prevalent today, but there were also things of the past which are better left there.  Though real to me, my memories are not always indicative of fully, factual truth.  It’s the laughter we remember whenever we remember the way we were.  Our God has been the same through time and will continue to show His mighty power in the same wonderful way.   

Corporate spiritual endeavors are subject to the ravages of time whatever emotions may say.  We cannot hope that the years will roll back and uncover our fondest church experiences according to our remembrances.  That does not mean that God cannot work in the present as He did in the past- only that His manner may be like and yet unlike.  In each generation, there have been specific tools some have called “divine methods” which were used by God in their time periods in extraordinary ways.  These means had a shelf-life in that they did not endure over many generations but were lost to the world as was the body of Moses, the Ark of the Covenant and other seminal artifacts of perceived value.  God remained as was His plan.

Sterl

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