September 26, 2018
When I reflect on my growing up years, the memories are pleasant. Country life, 20 miles from the nearest town via gravel roads, did not offer a lot of entertainment. Elementary school years were in a one-room school with eight grades. There was no TV – not even electricity during the early years. Compared to today, there were few distractions.
Sometimes I think it might be fun to relive those days – just a few of them. It does not take long for me to realize how much I would miss the conveniences of today – indoor plumbing, heating and cooling with the flip of a switch, paved roads, a grocery store a few blocks away and my smartphone – to name just a few. I really have no desire to return to those “good old days.”
According to Ecclesiastes 7:10, it is not wise to think those days were better than now. One translation reads: “Say not, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.” This is a reminder that those former days were not better than the present.
One thing is obvious – those former days are gone. All we have is the present, so we should focus on making the most of the day we have. For most of us, the good memories of the past crowd out the difficult ones – a gift from the Creator, I believe. If we actually relived the past, it would include things that we never want to experience again – or even remember.
Some of the past needs to be remembered to help us make good choices today. I have clutter and distractions in my life that could be eliminated if I chose to do so. The simple life offered time to read, to ponder nature, to talk and listen, and to be creative. We do not need to give up lights and plumbing to have these important activities in our life. It is not wise to think the past is better than the present, but we do need to keep it in perspective.
Pastor Bill Ehmann