We had a running gag in our house about the way our parents boasted in their childhood deprivations: "We know, we know. You walked to school every day, 10 miles, and uphill both ways."
King Solomon wrote:
"Say not, 'Why were the former days better than these?' For it is not from wisdom that you ask this" (Ecclesiastes 7:10).
Why is it "not wisdom" to ask this? For one thing, the past is frozen. Tinker with it all you want and it will not change a word or choice. Furthermore, you will have wasted the present on the past-which is merely creating more past for you to obsess about. The present is the only place of reality now. Live in it. As Beth Moore says, "Whatever God has for you, it's not behind you."
Solomon probably had in mind, not a momentary question, but a mental rut. Brothers, we don't have that kind of time. I am an empty nester now, but to live in that identity will keep me from moving forward to the next thing God has for me:
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare … to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).
Satan will try to hinder my effectiveness in any way he can-and nostalgia, which is a preference for the past, is one sand trap I am personally susceptible to. What is needed is a conscious, prayerful effort to strain forward to what lies ahead (Philippians 3:14):
"Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you" (Proverb 4:25).