Well, the good old USA is certainly experiencing some weird weather. Cold, heat, snow, drought, flooding…you name it, it’s happened. I can’t believe it– they’re naming winter storms like they do hurricanes. ‘Winter Storm Alex’ or ‘Jose’. And “Polar Vortex”! Back home in New Jersey, when I was growing up, we called it a ‘cold snap’! Big deal…had a couple every winter. Not anymore. These are catastrophic weather events! The likes of which we’ve never seen before! We’re glued to the tube! Not me. Drought in California? Hurricanes off the Florida coast and up into my old home state? Rain and more rain here in the Pacific Northwest? Have seen all of this many times… and I predict more for the future! Ain’t I just so smart?! My Grandfather Fischer used to say, ‘You’re smart like your father, you dope you’! I do think genius runs in my family! How about politics? Well, how about it? Two parties with absolutely no one getting along(why do they call them ‘parties’–who’s having fun anyway?!). Nothing new about that. Right? Just read US history (or that of any country for that matter) and it’s the same old, same old. Names change, yes. Technology advances, sure. But weren’t the good old days better? Isn’t that why they’re called ‘the good old days’? Civility, black-and-white television, slide rulers, diagramming sentences, baseball players who had to work a 2nd job in the winter just to make ends meet. How about those crew cuts! Good old days? Look at Ecclesiastes 7:10–Solomon warns against such thinking. He says it’s not even wise to ask about those days. Why not? Maybe it’s because it’s more like ‘chasing the wind’ again. Looking back too much can waste the time God gives us right now. It’s today… and this moment that He is giving us. Fresh like “daily bread”. “This is the day the Lord has made”– I would quote that verse at the beginning of every worship service at our lovely church in Aberdeen, Washington, meaning that last week has led us to today, to worship Him in the here and now. ‘This IS the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it'(Psalm 118: 24). Like driving a car with that big windshield in front of us to look outward and forward. Exactly where we should be looking MOST of the time. Small rearview and side-view mirrors to glance back. To drive safely, we must look back just briefly but keep our steady gaze on what’s ahead. Doing the opposite is to invite trouble. Of course, glance back. We don’t want to repeat the same old sins, taking those wrong turns over and over again. Look forward, press ahead, leaving those things behind that hold us back. That’s what the Apostle Paul said (read Philippians 3:13 and 14). Good old days? I still think that people were better when we weren’t obsessed with material things and the almighty dollar. We have too much. Little things mean almost nothing anymore. Spending too much time looking back in the rear view mirror of your life? How about all the time I spend thinking about the past? Like my relatives…most long gone. We had some real characters in our family. My Mother’s cousin, Grace. She and her husband, Tom, were strong Christians, and funny as funny can be. I miss them. Or Aunt Bertha and Uncle Bill. His laugh and her gently slapping him on his bald head! How about Cousin Jane, who was poorly nicknamed ‘Stale Garbage’. Don’t ask why. I have no idea; but her running away, marrying someone not acceptable to her parents, split that little family apart, never to be put back together again. Or Aunt Betty and Uncle Herman, who had the best basement parties on New Year’s Eve, even though she was terrified that one of their own grandchildren would leave a speck of dust on the living room sofa. Maybe those ‘good old days’ weren’t…well, you know! Press forward…look forward… to all that God has for us in the days to come! Think about what’s next? Not the undertaker, but the uppertaker! Maybe that’s why they call it heaven? Because it’s so out of this world! Onward…and forward with Him! Amen to that?
Prayer: Lord, we do look forward to all the blessings you have in store for us. Just the very best from you to us. Thank you so much. We love you for being our Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.