Nostalgic

Happy Personal Associations With The Past, Or Not

Ed, my old neighbor in Saskatchewan, claims that he doesn’t have even one sentimental bone in his body. He said this when he heard that we went to see the off-Broadway musical called “Forever Plaid.” This musical pays homage to the music of the 1950s and 1960s. Ed told me that he was just born in 1960, so the music of the 1950s was before his time. He doubted that he would recognize any songs from the 50s.

I said to Ed, “Have you ever heard of such songs as, ‘Three Coins in a Fountain,’ ’16 Tons,’ or ‘Love is a Many-Splendored Thing? Ed said that he had heard of these songs, but he liked much better songs such as, ‘You Ain’t Nothing, But A Hound Dog.’  Every decade has its hits and misses with songs and performers. Ed is undoubtedly right that Elvis Presley was starting his ascent to becoming the King of Rock and Roll in the 50s and 60s.

Some of us old folks can look back to the 50s and 60s with sentimental feelings, or feelings of relief that those years are long gone and good riddance.  I remember being in college in the 60s, feeling like a great hayseed in the city. Doing chores at the barn, milking cows by hand, and feeding pigs were not skills needed in the city or at college. Some look back and talk about the best years of their lives as being behind him. I have always felt my best years are before me. Then again, I have been wrong once or twice in my life.

I wonder if sometimes our worst years are our best years. Happy associations with the past may not refresh or remind us of the whole picture of our yesterdays. When we are children, teens, and young adults, we talk, think, and act like a child, teen, and young adult. Our good and bad experiences are part of becoming an adult. Do we tend to glorify the pleasant memoirs and forget that some adverse events of our past may have taught us more than we realize?

I have often put far too much emphases on the present and past, missing the Christian perspective concerning my future as a believer in Jesus Christ. We have the written word of God about our future, which says, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” An old joke confirms the truth that we all want to get to heaven, but we do not want to die to get there.

Our present and future as Christians are positive and more than promising. God has given us redemption, the forgiveness of sins through Christ’s shed blood, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. The Bible says, “God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s (mankind’s) sins against them.” (2 Cor. 5:19) It also says that God gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Jesus is the only way, truth, and life leading to God the Father in heaven. I trust eternal life with God in heaven will be perfect without death, pain, or tears.

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Raymond Maher
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