Nostalgia is in! Everything from the past is now popular once again. People like to go back to the time periods of the past with its clothing, music and movies along with the memories that come along with it.
You see it in the 80’s, 90’s & 2000’s themed gatherings today where people dress up
in clothing that was once popular 20, 30 or 40 years ago.
There’s something attractive about going back to the past where there were happier memories or at least selective memories of happier times. A time which was much more simpler and pure.
Even God Himself enjoys the whole nostalgia experience. In Jeremiah 2:2, God says, “I remember you, in the kindness of your youth, in the love of your betrothal, when you went after me in the wilderness”
According to this text, God is thinking back to the happier memories He once had with you when you deeply loved Him, and would do anything just to please Him, which would show up in unplanned, extravagant acts of Love for Him. To God, these memories of nostalgia are special.
Politicians understand nostalgia for elections and talk about better times in the past with promises to make things like how they used to be.
Hollywood movies also understand nostalgia for commercial gain and now focus a lot on series and remakes of old movies as they know that nostalgia sells.
The music industry understands nostalgia as well. There is something called, “the new music curse” which has totally changed the current music industry. “The new music curse” is where 70% of songs that are currently streamed today are old songs, or songs that are older than 18 months. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/old-music-killing-new-music/621339/
I have seen many posts from teenagers I know on social media who love the songs from the past and who have even said that they were born in the wrong generation.
My daughter told me during the Covid pandemic that she loves the songs of 2015 because that reminds her of happier times.
When she told me this, I remember thinking to myself, “how sad that the teenagers of today are wanting to escape and go back to their pre-teens because those days were much simpler and happier than the tragic times we are living in today.”
I understand nostalgia a little more now that we are living here in Australia. I feel like I went back into a time machine since living here. You see, Australia is like how the US was about 20 years ago. A much more simple time where things were more pure and people were more trusting.
Now I believe that there is both an unhealthy nostalgia and a healthy nostalgia.
Unhealthy nostalgia begins with an escape from the challenges of today to a time that makes you happier. Now there’s nothing wrong with a temporary escape into one’s past, but the danger happens when this escape from the present unhappiness becomes addictive. It’s dangerous when you come to the point where you don’t want to come back to face the present realities because the memories of the past are far more attractive.
Sometimes people escape back into the memories of their past with the determined plan to come back to the present at all costs. But when they do come back to the present, the contrast between the past and the present is so great that they then fall into a depression.
As for a healthy nostalgia, an example would be when one goes back into the past for perspective. One goes back into their past good memories as a way to learn more about oneself so as to make a change. This is the nostalgia God wants us to experience when we think about the good times of the past of being fully in love with Him! This is done so that we would then make a change in the present to restore what we once had.
Another healthy nostalgia is when we go back to the past in order to be better able to face the present fears and challenges.
This is seen in the quotation, “We have nothing to fear for the future except we shall forget how God has led us in the past.”
If we go back to the past to remember the good memories of when God had helped us, we will then be filled with the memories that God loves us and that we are valuable to Him and also that if He helped us back then, He will surely help us again!
With these thoughts in mind, we will then be filled with boldness, courage and strength to come back into the present to face our fears and overcome our hardships.
I don’t know what you may be facing at this moment. Maybe your marriage is not doing so well, maybe financially you are struggling, maybe you’ve lost someone close to you or maybe you just feel lost and lonely. Everything may seem confusing to you at this time. If this is you, know that you can come to God with your problems.
And as you come to God, you can also know that you can go back and think about those times of hardships where God came through for you, whether you realized it or not. And as you think back on this, know that if God pulled you through those hard times, He can surely do it for you once again! This is the hope and power of nostalgia!
I want to experience this power of nostalgia in my life, how about you? Keala
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