It’s easy to think the past was better than today. Most of us have selective memories. We only remember what we want to remember. We reminisce about our fun-loving college days but forget how we stayed up all night to study, subsisting on Ramen noodles and completely stressing out because no one had asked us to the upcoming party. We remember being single—enjoying the freedom to have ice cream for dinner—but forget how lonely we felt eating by ourselves. We recall our children as darling babies but don’t remember how frustrated we were when the “terrible twos” hit.
You could make the case that it’s good to forget the bad. However, when we look at the past through rose-colored glasses, we run the risk of being ungrateful for what we have right now. Rather than seeing today’s gifts, we yearn for yesterday’s fun and games, conveniently glossing over the past’s difficulties.
Our days, months and years are made up of both good times and bad. The tapestry of life’s events makes up the very essence of who we are. Think about today and the difficulties you are encountering: The laundry is piling up. The roof needs fixing. Your kids aren’t listening to you. Now consider some of the memories you’re making today: Your baby took his first steps. Your daughter graduated from kindergarten, high school or college. You got that big promotion. You finally started your own business.
Thank God for all your wonderful memories. Take the difficult things to God in prayer. Ask him what he wants you to learn from your present situation. God doesn’t waste any of our experiences. He can use the good ol’ days, as well as the not-so-great days, to benefit us, if we let him. The key is to remember things as they really were, to be content with things as they really are and to trust God to take care of the future.
Ecclesiastes 7:10, 14
Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions . . . When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.