Monday, August 06, 2012

Good Old Days? What Good Old Days?

'and my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all day long.' ~ Psalm 35:28

I confess that I am one who hankers after these good old days, remembering with fondness simpler more uncomplicated times - which are always in the past funnily enough!

In my minds eye I see myself working the land along-side my husband and children. We are self-sufficient, relying on our own hard work. Our lives are so fulfilling as they are uncomplicated and simple. Our needs and wants do not extend to the materialism of the world. The sun shines down on us as we harvest the vegetables for the dinner table and we are all in harmony with one another and with the earth ~ you get the picture?

Recently I have been feeling challenged on my daily attitude and my views in this area. I read an article written by Gary Petty  in The Good News publication about the 'Good Old Days'. It really challenged me. The article showed a photograph of a family in the 50's watching the new craze - television then a photograph of the same time period but of a little boy in war-torn Korea carrying his baby sibling on his back, his face showed no hope for a future. Below the photograph the caption reads, 'Whatever time we harken back to as 'the good old days', for many people they were anything but.' Wow! Suddenly I felt selfish. Whatever time I harken back to, many others were suffering tremendous loss, pain, terror.

Gary Petty opens his article with a statement ~'Reflecting on the "good old days" can bring back warm thoughts and fond memories. But could longing for a lost past diminish the joy of the present and the hope God has in store for your future' {emphasis my own}

I am so guilty of this! After reflecting for a while on what I read, I realised that I spend more time than I should on either longing for a simpler way of life or thinking about how we can reach the 'dream'. The 'joy of my present and the hope God has in store for my future' is indeed diminished. Living in this way will lead to a life filled with regret. Regret that I didn't seize precious moments with my children as they grow up, missed peace and contentment with the here and now - no matter what circumstances I may find myself in. Right now I could be {and am} living 'peaceful and simple' times.

I think that this harkening after a lost past and simpler times comes when we look at the current state of the world. It all seems so hopeless. There is so much selfishness, cruelty, rudeness, godlessness, immorality, that it seems that all is lost! So much to worry about!

But God spoke of these things in His Word so as to bring us comfort and peace. He is in control - even though it appears He is not. We are living in the end times. The earth is groaning in these final stages of labour before our beautiful Savior comes back.

Paul writes to Timothy about the godlessness in the last days...

'But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.' 2 Tim 3:1-5

These words give me hope! Is shouldn't but it does. Here's why... my hope is not in the 'goodness' of man, for there never was such a thing. My hope is in God, who has clearly laid out what we can expect not only from the world but what we can look forward to with Him. While the world spirals out of control, God is IN control. The trick here is not to keep my eyes fixed on what is going on around me but to keep my eyes fixed on Christ. It is good to look around me and to see and recognise that what is going on is a sign - a sign that God is in control. If He is in control then He is my hope and my future.

No more harkening back, instead I will remember the past with fondness, not with longing. I will not fix my eyes on the world, instead I will purposefully fix my eyes daily on Christ. I will dwell in His word and grow roots that are deep and that keep me firmly anchored for those tough times that are sure to come in my and in everyone's life time. I will purpose my days to be filled with faith, not fear and longing.

Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? ~ Matt 6:27


  1. What a wonderful truth... and a much needed reminder, to read here this morning.

    I can go there too. Longing for the past and looking toward the future and forgetting the present needs me to be all there. Present and accounted for.

    I think of the verses in Ecclesiates 7:10, 13-14.

  2. Yes, to be fully present for what God has for us today . . . Your post is inspiring and the pictures are beautiful!

  3. I really enjoyed this post, my husband and I were just discussing this the other day. I often would think fondly of the "good old days" instead of being present today, and doing God's will now. Very true post. :)


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