some people spend the majority of their lives living in the past…longing to return to a time when things were better…or wishing they could go back to an era when things were simpler or happier or healthier or even more significant. i’m around people who speak of the good old days, as if they should be memorialized.
those people live so far in the past, they are unable to fully experience the present. their joy is muted. their purpose is muddy. their relationships are empty. and all of this is because the memories of the former are dulling the senses of the here and now.
also, there are many, many people who are never able to escape the painful memories of their past. people who choose to let hurt and pain dictate their daily responses. people who carry bitterness and distrust into every relationship and work environment. i am constantly blown away by the numbers of people who avoid christmas events or birthdays or family get-togethers…because those days are so crippling to their psyches or fragile emotions.
there are still others, though, that consistently eschew the present, in favor of staying fixated on the future. people who are so hurt or disillusioned or wearied or fearful…that they hold to the hope of something better. it may or may not resemble something in the past. it could be something new or better or old and predictable. but whatever it looks like, it’s all about escaping the past and ignoring the present.
but until we let go of the past…and stop romanticizing the future, we will never be able to experience everything that now has to offer. we will never be able to seize any moments at all. we will continually be duped. we will miss the power of the immediate and the meaning that is attached to it.
and jesus becomes irrelevant.