“Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For it is not from wisdom that you ask this” (Ecc. 7:10)
It is very tempting to romanticize the past, to remember it as better than it really was.
We might wistfully think of the past and remember “the way things were…” or think of it in terms of “simpler times.”
But this is a fiction. Upon closer reflection comes the realization that the cares were not so free and the times were not as good as they are made out to have been.
Of course, good memories were hopefully made, but it is often not the “good” times that are remembered so fondly, but the bad. Because those were the times where you got to find out who you really are.
Childhood is difficult because, as a child, you don’t know anything. You don’t understand how the world really is, why other kids can be so mean, or why you have to do so much homework.
Because an adult said so – that’s why!
Children often spend their time wishing they could hurry up and grow up. But once they do grow up and become adults – now knowing all that they didn’t know before, about responsibility, fending for oneself, etc. – they wish they could go back!
The point is not that it’s futile to wish we could turn back the clock (it is, though) but rather to realize that all we ever have is this moment.
To continually wish for something else is… not wise, as Solomon says.
Miserable people are always thinking they would rather be someplace else – then they could be happy.
But it is an endless loop of dissatisfaction: tired at work, they would rather be home. Bored at home, they would rather be working. Tired of both, they would rather be on vacation at the beach. Sunburned after day one, they would rather be back home…
The secret to contentment is in learning to be right where you are.
God has you here, right now, for a particular reason. He has a role that only you can fill.
God says, “I know the plans that I have for you, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” (Jer. 29:11)
The future starts right now; live it up so that you can make the past something worth wishing for.