When my son was in pre-K and Kindergarten we had a little routine. I would pick him up at noon, and then we would go home for lunch. I would fix him a peanut butter & grape jelly sandwich, some fruit and milk which he would eat while watching Tom & Jerry. When he was very young he would take a nap after lunch. When he grew into a “big boy” he would play a one-man football game in the front yard after he ate his lunch. I can still remember sitting in the dining room (protective, but not hovering) watching him throw the football up, make the catch and score the touchdown – over, and over, and over.
Fast forward a few years to the school day being longer, the homework harder and the sports’ practices tougher. One day he looks at me and says, “Mom do you remember the good ‘ol days?”
I stop my ironing, a little confused. Just how old did he think I was? Was this “your TV actually was in color?” or “what is an album?” question?
“You know, back when I could just come home, eat lunch, watch Tom & Jerry and play outside,” he continued. Ohhhhh – THOSE good ‘ol days. Sure. I remember them. Some of my favorite days ever.
We can feel like that sometimes – like the best days are behind us. We’re stuck in a job we hate. We work all the time with no room for fun. Life’s problems are difficult and hard to manage. We long for the good ‘ol days when life wasn’t so hard.
If we aren’t careful we can get stuck in the past, romanticizing about how good life was way back when. Negative thoughts about our present or future can stifle the life Jesus so wants us to have. He has work for us to do while we are here on earth. But how can we do that work if we don’t open our eyes (and our hearts) to the possibilities of the future?
“… But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:13-14)
Remember your past but never think your best days are behind you. As the old saying goes, it’s hard to drive forward when you are looking in your rearview mirror. Look ahead – move forward – and claim the future God has waiting for you.