In a time a radical change, I continue to meet many that are longing for the “good old days”. Their premise rests on the belief that we have enjoyed some very good days. It goes on to hypothesize that if we could return to those days, that we would rediscover the happiness, peace, and hope that we experienced during that period. In an age of uncertainty, the idea of being able to embrace a sure thing is appealing.
In response to the desire to rush forward and move backwards, let me offer the following observations.
The golden days of yesterday were not what we recall. I know what we remember; however, our memories are not always accurate. I would gently remind you as well as myself that yesterday were filled with similar personal fears, anxieties, and pain. Our minds block the pain, giving us memories that seem better than they were. At the same time, we know that we made it through those days. As a result, they are appealing because at least we know we are going to make it.
The present is always filled with something new, things different. We are called to move into this moment, thinking, adapting, and using our freedom to engage in the act of living. We can be a difference to those around us as well as ourselves. However, the warning is blunt. In order to engage successfully in the present we will have need to do things differently than we have in the past.
Our forefathers knew this. Even those that are now seen as traditionalists adapted to new environment they found themselves in. “Barnabas and Saul, once they had delivered the relief offering to the church in Jerusalem, went back to Antioch. This time they took John with them, the one they called Mark.” (Acts 12.25)
Living in the present, dealing with changing realities, doing things in a different way is rarely easy. It calls for courage, strength, and a willingness to risk. Today is our time. Divinity is willing to help. Freedom asks us to participate.