Every once in a while, I will receive an e-mail listing things from the "good old days." Sometimes it has to do with how we were raised, and sometimes it focuses upon things that no longer exist. The common theme is that we were supposedly better off back then. I must admit that music was certainly better, but other than that, I don't miss anything but the people who are gone. Nostalgia has a way of forgetting the negatives and that creates a dissatisfaction with today. Perhaps if I had had a happier childhood, I would be more inclined to long for the past. I do remember fondly my days on the porch swing swatting flies with my grandpa Cory.
At sixty-seven, my memories go back to a time before television, interstate highways, computers, polio vaccine, microwaves, and anything described as being digital. Women worked round the clock on taking care of their family. Wringer washers, clothes lines, long meal preparation, coal furnaces, and a lack of air conditioning made women old before their time. I do not miss the subjugation of women. I also remember segregation of just about everything including schools, stores, restaurants, hotels, transportation, theaters, sports, and even hospitals. I remember having a crush on a black girl, but being afraid to tell anyone. I do not miss segregation.
I don't miss living with poor self esteem, and fear of the future. I don't miss having impulses to lie, steal, and kill. Thoughts would pop into my head that were awful, and I thank God that before I even belonged to Him, He would warn me to fear the possible consequences. I don't really think my conscience was much help, but fear certainly was. Even with fear, I still managed to get into trouble with the law. I was an alcoholic and an atheist. I don't miss any of these things.
Memories of failures do serve a good purpose. They remind us that we didn't, nor do we now, deserve to be a child of God. They help keep us humble, and help us forgive others who have yet to overcome. And, they serve as a warning that at anytime, Satan will plant evil thoughts to tempt us. So, we pray more, and read His Word more, and put on our spiritual armor more. Memories of receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior help give us confidence about our daily life, and our eternal future. Our memories are a gift from God. He told the people of Israel to build altars in remembrance of great events in which He rescued them. He had them celebrate feast as memorials. And He gave the Church an ordinance to remember the Lord's death, and His promise of returning (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
I guess the thing I like most about memories is that God has a "poor one" (Jeremiah 31:34; Psalm 103:12). He forgives and forgets our sins because they are paid for in full by the blood of the Lamb! Of course, Satan likes to bring our failures to our memory, because it takes our focus off Jesus and makes us feel unworthy to live as a witness. I heard a cute response to Satan; the next time Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. God bless.