Now that I’m a senior citizen, I tend to do what seniors have always done. We romanticize the past. We say things like:
“The good old days were better than now.” I wish I could go back to the eighties.” (or seventies, or sixties)
“I wish I looked like I did ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. I used to be much thinner.”
“In my younger days I was a champion __________.” (Fill in the blank with any sport you want.)
I have to admit, so many changes have happened in 2020, I’m beginning to consider the year 2019 part of the good old days. Was it just last year I took a Viking River Cruise in France? Now the experience seems like a dream.
I don’t think 2020 will ever qualify as a candidate for the good old days. Will we have fond memories of wearing masks, social distancing, and cancellations? I doubt it. When we face challenges in the present, human nature makes us think we were happier in the past.
For years I’ve turned to Scripture to begin my day. Sometimes I underline verses which stand out to me. Once in awhile I write the date next to the verse. It’s as if the Holy Spirit is speaking to me personally and saying “Hey Debbie, you need to remember this.”
On July 8, 2012 I underlined this verse. “Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these? For it is not wise to ask such questions.” Ecclesiastes 8:3
So why did the author (possibly Solomon) think it unwise to romanticize the past? Was it because romanticizing the past breeds greater dissatisfaction with the present?
Paul the apostle wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want.” Philippians 4:12
How? The next verse tells his secret. “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” v. 13
When we are weak, Christ is strong. When we are unable, Christ is able to sustain us. When we focus on the past, we miss the joy which can still be found today. We may not be able to control our circumstances, but we can control our own thoughts. Nothing, not even a pandemic, can separate us from Christ’s love. And he is waiting for us to seek him in prayer.
At last, 2020 is coming to an end. Will 2021 be just as challenging? I want to remember 2020 as the year I found contentment in spite of my circumstances.
Dear Reader, thank you for your time and attention. I would love to dialogue with you regarding your sentiments about this year. Has 2020 taught you something about yourself? Leave a comment.