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I recently read an article, by Eric Metaxas, about how Hollywood has been in a real story-telling slump lately. Most movies that come out are not original story lines, but rehashed ones from comic books, past classic Disney cartoons, etc. For example, just consider how many times Spiderman has been remade in the past 15 years, and you'll have an idea of what he's getting at. Of course, Hollywood wouldn't be making rehashed ideas into movies constantly if they weren't selling. There is something fun about nostalgia, and getting to mentally relive something we enjoyed once before. The problem with nostalgia is when it begins to take over innovation and probing for new ideas. Nostalgia becomes an issue when it keeps us from moving forward.
I think we all know those people that seem to always be dreaming of a moment in their life that was what they wish life would be now. They look at those fuzzy pictures and think of the good ol' days more than they take current ones of what is happening in their life now. They find it hard to make new friends, refusing to believe that the ones from their past should be anything but the best they will ever have or need. If we are honest, we look at these people and pity them, and rightfully so. They are loving a place in their life so much that it is causing their current growth's detriment. They aren't moving forward, so the past continually remains the best thing about their lives.
There is a pull in all of us to hang on to that good moment in our lives that we once knew. Life is hard, we find, as it continues to move forward. It isn't as easy as those days we once knew. It requires work, and sometimes it's lonely. But there is something that nostalgia keeps us from remembering. It tells us that everything was once perfect, when, in fact, life before heaven is never perfect. Whenever we are tempted to think of a certain time in our lives as the one we wish we could always live in, we need to call out the lie right then. We are forgetting the hard things that accompanied those good memories, and we are ignoring the fact that God uses trials to shape us for His glory. Sure, the idea of staying where things weren't hard is nice, but it isn't reality. We are called to move forward, right alongside the trials of life, and see the beauty of tomorrow. We serve a God of hope, and hope looks forward with joy.