Living In The Past


Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. 

~Ecclesiastes :10, NLT


Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift, that why the call it THE PRESENT.

~Alice Morse Earle

Living in the past is not a pitfall for the young but it is a temptation for those of us who are older. Solomon believed, as do I, that God is all-powerful and man cannot change what God has willed. Therefore we must learn to celebrate the good times and learn from the bad. We will all face circumstances that are beyond our control and life is better when we put our trust in God’s providential care. In other words, don’t spoil a beautiful day like today worrying about tomorrow. Don’t miss the blue skies worrying about the next storm.  Neither should we squander today’s opportunities to serve because we engaged in the past.

Remember the story of the Israelites in Numbers 15. They got tired of living by faith in the wilderness and decided they wanted to return to Egypt. As a matter of fact, an entire generation of Israelites died with a craving to go back to Egypt. Here is what they said…“Oh, for some meat! We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted.”  We call this selective memory. How could these morons forget that in Egypt, they were slaves with whips to their backs. Of course slaves eat free; they have no money. Slaves are property. Just as a farmer feeds his livestock, so owners feed slaves. Their life in Egypt was horrible but now they are longing for the good old days when in reality, the old days were not that good. My father passed away in 1995 and Mother lived for another 15 years. I carried her on a trip to Nashville and on the way back she began talking about Daddy like he was a saint. She and Daddy fought like a cat and dog but she had completely romanticized the past and had forgotten all the bad times. She only remembered the good: she had blocked out the bad as though it never happened. Now, I can see the same thing happening in me: we remember the good and forget the bad.

Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:29,  “God created people to be virtuous [honest], but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.” Sometimes telling the truth is hard, even painful but it is worth the effort. I grew up in the 50-60’s. Things really changed in the 60’s. This decade began with us in the cotton fields, fall breaks and all. Kid’s now a days have a hard time believing that my generation got a 6 week fall break but it was to pick cotton. By 1970 all cotton was picked by machines. Within one decade, everything changed. When I was a small child [11-under], a soft drink was a rare commodity. Eating out at a restaurant never happened. I went to school broke. You could buy a drink for 6 cents, I didn’t have 6 cents. When June and I got married, we had less than a hundred dollars. Matter of fact, we wrote Ron Manley a $10 check for performing our ceremony and hoped it would not bounce. My first church out of Seminary paid me $125 per week with no expense account. Every trip I took came out of my pocket. I drove an old VW Bug to Birmingham for a a by-pass surgery that took 12-14 hours in the old days. I attempted to sleep in the car but the night watchman insisted I come inside the hospital for my own safety. I’ve drove to Birmingham and back without a dollar many times. So don’t talk to me about the good old days. I don’t want to go back. God has blessed us beyond belief: not only can we afford to stop and get a coke or a hamburger, we can get a steak if we want one. I was 17 years old before I had a steak and then it was another 17 years before I got another.

I don’t know about the future but as for the present, this is one senior adult who is having the time of his life. My daily goal in the practical sense is to help someone. I want to express my love for Jesus by loving and helping others. It is a great life and without God’s blessing, I couldn’t do. Thank You Jesus for all Your blessings. I have no desire to go back: onward and upward, that’s my motto.

  • I’m posting late at night so the date will be wrong. This blog is for May 1st. I have to wait until 12 midnight for it to get the correct date and I don’t want to wait. It is hard to believe that one third of 2018 is history.
  • I understand that Shirley Hogan passed away: if I’m not mistaken, this is Jessica’s aunt. It was unexpected. I think Sabrina Millwood is a bit better. I did not here from Birmingham yesterday. We all need prayer and I covet yours. I have some hard decisions to make. I reckon the older I get, the harder it is to make decisions. I can assure you of one thing, I want the LORD’s will to be done. I’m too old to rebel: I want to please Him.
  • DAY OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA May 3 at the Fountain of Central Baptist Church. [11:30-12:30]

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