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Life in the Past Lane  

Temptation has a way of finding us—no matter what stage of life we're in. For those who've reached middle age and beyond, nostalgia is a beguiling temptress. She whispers that things were (absolutely positively) better in our yesterdays.

Owens Lee Pomeroy once quipped, "Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson. You find the present tense but the past perfect."

In truth, nostalgia is a seductive liar. It doggedly insists things were way better in the “good old days.” Nostalgia is the file that smooths off the rough edges of yesterday.

But at least two dangers come with a life immersed in nostalgia. First, there's the danger that we spend so much time pining away, grasping for what was, we cease to be grateful for what is. Good things are happening today. God is moving and working and blessing today.

Second, there's the danger of living so much in the past that we miss or minimize the present. It's okay to look back. It’s not okay to “live back.” Yesterday can be a nice place to visit, but we dare not stay long. Because if we’re going to move forward, we’ll need to look ahead out the windshield, not behind in the rearview mirror.

There's nothing wrong with celebrating God's goodness in the past. In fact, it's biblical to recall great memories, great blessings, and great experiences. But our God is a God of the new. He has plans for this day, this week, this month. Plans for you. Let’s not miss what God is doing today by living life in the “past lane.”

Do not say, “Why is it that the former days were better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.

-Ecclesiastes 7:10

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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