Longing for the Good Old Days
Eccl. 7:10 Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Wisdom literature often gives us things to chew on. Obviously longing for the “good old days” has been around for a long time, looking back and thinking that the past was better than the present. Somehow this is not considered wise and it may be that this question is asked from emotion rather than careful examination. The “good old days” weren’t always that good and maybe it’s time to take a hard look at the present.
Today is Pentecost Sunday and as we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit into the presence of the church on that historical day, we may have a tendency to look back with great longing. Wouldn’t it have been incredible to have been present on that day so long ago? What was it that happened? The people there witnessed an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit that transformed the world. The little band of Jesus’ followers were transformed by the presence of the Holy Spirit and they never looked back. As exciting as Pentecost was for them, they would not have wanted to go back to that day for they lived in the present, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, reflecting Christ and performing miracles along the way.
What is it that we might be longing for? I have to confess that there are times that I look back on past days and I think about how nice it would be to park there! But then, as I think about it more clearly I realize all that I would be missing. What we experience in the present and in the future is energized by the presence of the Holy Spirit. When we travel this journey of life filled by him then we get to encounter transformations that are God-revealing. Who would want to miss out on that?
As we think about this Pentecost Sunday, let’s not wish for that day to return, but instead, may we live in the present in the presence of the Spirit. May we be open to allowing God’s Holy Spirit to fill every pore of our very being until we are overflowing with him. Then we will no longer long for the “good old days” but will be filled with anticipation with what lies ahead in God’s future.
Lord, thank you for Pentecost then and now. Amen.