If you are anything like me, (and by that I mean you're generally awesome and slightly crazy), then you've probably spent more than a few moments of any given day thinking back to those days when you used to.
Those days when you used to date that guy who always brought you flowers, but it was usually because he was trying to make up for the horrible way he treated you. Those days when you used to be the star of the basketball team, but all you really wanted to do was make your parents proud. Those days when you used to have that tight and toned body, but were missing out on fun times with your friends and family due to always being at the gym. Those days when you used to be the guy who dated the "hot girl," made his buddies jealous, but never actually got to see those friends because she was so controlling. Those days when you used to hang out with the popular crowd, but never really felt a genuine connection. Those days when you used to have it all.
We all used to do something different than we do now or be someone different than we are now. We all used to have different priorities than we do now. We all used to want different things than we want now.
No matter who you are, where you're from, or what you're currently doing in your life, we all have our own past with our own set of used tos. We all have those nostalgic moments where we're listening to a song, driving through a certain area, or eating at a specific restaurant that brings back memories of what used to be.
I don't know about you, but why does it always seems that those days where we once used to seem more enjoyable now than they did when we were actually living them? Why do we begin to long for something or someone we once had, when we know good and well that situation or that person or that hobby was not best for us? Why do we stay stuck, thinking about the past versions of ourselves when the version God has created for the here and now is better than the best version we could ever dream up?
If I think long and hard about those days, some of those used to moments were actually really painful and led me to some intense learning situations that probably could have been avoided had I leaned more on God and less on myself. It is in these moments, though, when we start thinking about our past, our old days, and the old versions of ourselves, where the current us seems less. Seems not enough. Seems not as good. Causing us to act on inaccurate feelings and accusations of the person we think we are rather than the person we know God has made us to be right now.
Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.
God uses Ecclesiastes 7:10 to remind us that it is so easy for our minds to think back on something and recreate our own past moments rather than remembering it how it actually happened. God uses this verse to remind us that the past has a purpose, but it does not have a reason to control our present. He does not want us to look back and lust over the good ole days. He wants to protect us from the false situations we tend to manifest in our minds that take us away from the present joy He is trying to show us.
I believe we will always have moments in life where we tend to get caught up in our nostalgia, reminisce with our friends, and think back to all of the used tos. In and of itself, this is not a bad thing, but when we start to replace the feelings that are associated with the used to moments with the feelings that God wants us to experience in the now, that is when the present moments of our lives begin to humble.
Before you get caught up in the beauty of a song from the past, the painful stings from a moment you regret, or from the awkward comment someone makes about the person you used to be, remember that God has brought us into this very moment to prosper us and give us a hope and a future.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
If we continue to look back on what seems to be something that was good in our lives, we will actually miss the good He has prepared for us now in this moment.Take hold of the present moments He is giving you. Because, I don't know about you, but He is giving me some absolutely breathtaking moments, and it is so comforting to know that what has happened in the past does not have to affect my now. God gave those past moments to you to learn from, not to lust after. Take in what He has for you each and every day. Relish in each and every moment. He has crafted it just for you.