OpinionJuly 1, 2024
Rod Parchment
Rod Parchment

I miss those days! Back when our children were little, armed with toy swords, light sabers and dart guns, laughing and stampeding through the house like untamed mustangs, donning capes and superhero PJs, or running barefoot, wearing no more clothes than ancient Zulu warriors. Zerberts, wedgies, bedtime stories and breakfast in pajamas. Oh the joy!

Those were good times, and I keep the memories, but I do not live there. To live in the past is to forfeit the present. Trying to get back yesterday is to spoil the gift of today. Be nostalgic, but not for long. Our God is active in the present and we are invited to partner in the same.

That smiley old phrase, “The best is yet to come” - Can we say those words with any conviction? Is it false hope? In a world gone coo coo for Cocoa Puffs, will good sense ever have a chance again? Still, we must not believe the best of things are only in the past, or snub the possibility of glad surprise and unexpected newness in the present. We must resist the despair of the preacher in Ecclesiastes who declares, “there is nothing new under the sun” (1:9). Refuse such hopelessness that cannot imagine anything new. We must not let the cynicism of our times sour us too. Shake that off. Stay sleek and fleet of foot (like wild mustangs and ancient Zulu warriors).

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Naive, you say? But maintaining a healthy, robust naiveté is a must. I say “naiveté” - the better word is faith – the courage to believe the Creator does not abandon the good creation and neither shall we. Keep the big picture in view provided by the guiding story from Genesis to Revelation. Genesis informs our sense of origin and vocation (image God and steward the earth well). To this we must be faithful as the story flows toward Rev. 21 and re-creation; “And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven.... And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them’...And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’” God will not reject the earth. He makes it new.

Bring back the past? No. Bring the future into the present by living into the promised renewal of all things. If we do, these are the good ole days.

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