17 Feb Live for Today!
Read Ecclesiastes 7:1-13
Thought for the Day: Embrace today, knowing God promises a bright future!
Have you ever found yourself longing for a return to the good old days? Psychologists have a name for this. They call it rosy retrospection. It’s the judgment of past events as being way more positive than the present. When we do this we tend to actually only remember certain things in the past. We give preference to the good and add positive memories that never actually took place. If we can get ourselves to stop and think clearly, we remember that in fact, the good old days were actually as imperfect as today. We know why we want to give preference to remembering the positive things of the past. It helps us feel good about ourselves to think that ‘everything was great’ rather than some of the things that were in fact actually quite bad.
In Ecclesiastes, the preacher invites us to look forward instead of engaging in “rosy retrospection”. He makes it clear. “Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.” Rather than longing for a return to the good old days, the preacher encourages us to be wise and live in the present. If we spend our time and energy trying to recreate the past, we will never find fulfillment. There is nothing wrong with feeling nostalgic from time to time. However, we are called to live lives that look forward!
Let’s be careful not to overly fixate on the former days. Even though none of us can bring back the past, today we can each live with integrity and trust God. If we find ourselves stuck wishing for a former time, we can stop and remember that God has important things for us today. We can also celebrate that God has planned for us a wonderful future that is infinitely better than our own rosy retrospection. While our own nostalgia keeps us trapped in our own thinking, Christ asks us to have an outward focus. Let’s learn to live today, learn to let go of the past so that we can fully embrace all that is offering us when we put our trust in Him!
Pastors Stan and David