Sometimes we find ourselves wishing things could be the way they were. However “the way they were” did not last very long. Whatever past circumstances we long for were temporary at best. Nostalgia is a fickle feeling. It can give us pleasant thoughts about days gone by and yet it can cause us to be so unrealistic about the past that we penalize our present and our future. Time moves on and change is inevitable. The “good old days” are but a memory of a time when we thought we had less stress and strain. We tend to forget the complications of life back then because present complications overshadow anything that ever has been. In an attempt to escape the painful perplexities of today we try to reconstruct yesterday according to how we wish it had been.
Even though things never were exactly the way we think they were, we must never stop making beautiful memories. It may be out of the way we think things were that we find the motivation to create a tomorrow in the way we want it to be. In this manner our memories are closely connected to our dreams. Perhaps the only way we can construct our dreams is by remembering the way we wish things had been.
Therefore, as we long for the “good old days”, we can actually prepare ourselves for a better “new day” if we understand that every day has its share of hopes and horrors. The key is to be realistically aware that today we are making memories for the future. Yesterday is but a reminder that today contains the ingredients for a healthier tomorrow.
The major focus of our lives needs to be on the present. It is the only time we have. We cannot honestly reconstruct the past nor can we accurately produce the future. “Today is the day of salvation. Now is the accepted time.” Forgiveness and grace as well as beautiful memories enable us to live with our past. The kind of hope that produces a positive attitude enables us to move graciously into the future. It is the disposition of the present moment that controls our appraisal of both.
Let us, therefore, never minimize this present breath of life, this existing heartbeat of love, and this moment of consciousness. Indeed the psalmist gave us great insight when he wrote, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.”