Early in May, I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia. I was driving along and saw a long line of yellow six-inch pipe strung out along the side of the road. Obviously, there was a pipeline project in the making, and in an instant flashback, I went back to the days when I worked on pipeline construction in every province from Quebec west and in two states in the USA. I remembered the security of a steady monthly pay cheque, and the excitement and the challenge of moving our house trailer to a new location and a new project. I was an office manager, and all our equipment was also mobile in an office trailer, which I shared with a payroll clerk and a secretary. On some projects, we hired as many as 350 to 400 employees. There was the camaraderie and, in some cases, the friendship of some employees who also moved from project to project. After the years on construction projects, we spent fifteen years in different countries in Europe and the Middle East. Of course, as happens so often, as the years have gone by, the bad times and frustrations have faded into the background.
When this wave of nostalgia subsided to a mere ripple, I wondered whether it is normal to be nostalgic about the “good old days”. Sometimes, it feels like we had more fellowship with friends, both at work and in the churches that we attended, than we do now. Thinking about that may create a feeling of loss, so God does not want us the dwell on the past — even though I do quite often.
“Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10 NIV)
Then, I wondered whether Jesus’ disciples ever longed for the old days at home, or fishing on the sea of Galilee, or the friends and family that they had left behind and saw only on occasion. I remembered that after Jesus’ resurrection, some of His disciples went back to fishing:
“Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, ‘We’ll go with you.'” (John 21:1-3a NIV)
On that occasion, Jesus reinstated Peter, who had denied Him, and Peter went out and changed the world.
I think that it is good for us to remember our past experiences when the Lord blessed us in the good times and helped us through the difficult ones. Such memories help us to weather the present times. Then, it dawned on me that the good times are now — and because of our hope of heaven, the best times are yet to come!
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for all the experiences of Your blessing that we have had. We thank You that we are assured that You are always with us. We offer this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Meaford, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted with author’s permission from PresbyCan Daily Devotionals