This is the last day of 2015, and a lot of people on my social feeds are looking back to reflect on the past 364 days of their existence.
If there’s one thing I don’t want to do, it’s live in the past. Very little is ever gained by looking backwards, unless you are considering mistakes so as not to repeat them. But even that high aim seems to be something that never actually happens, especially when you consider human history in a broad context.
There have been moments I’ve enjoyed in life, but I’m not aware of being nostalgic for any of them, or of longing for any particular time period in my existence. When I was younger, I used to wish I had been born in other times — the 1950s, for example. I have always dreamed of simplicity. But the world sucked then, too. There’s no time since Adam when living in this world was somehow better, or less painful than it is now. Nostalgia is misguided and misremembered affection for impermanent things, people and feelings we cannot hold and were never meant to possess.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.…
Looking backwards to me is like forgetting Lot’s wife. It doesn’t do any good to dwell in the past, even if it’s remembering past successes. Memory is always unreliable, slipping away, shrouded in a fog of dashed hopes and crushed longings. Today is the most interesting, exciting and relevant day in my life. Tomorrow it will be history but anything memorable it contains for better or worse will be the result of today’s focus and choices.
There is only now.