Pastor Sean McIntyre, Centralia United Methodist Church
Since the beginning of time it seems, we as humans, have used some version of the phrase, “the good ol’ days.” I’m sure even just reading that phrase, some sort of memory popped into your head. It is ingrained in our culture as a way of reflecting upon fond memories. We remember plenty of times as the good ol’ days. But we all know what the problem with the good ol’ days is, right? We always look back on them and rarely live under the impression that we are currently living in the good ol’ days. Country artist James Otto and more recently pop artists Macklemore and Ke$ha have songs devoted to the idea that often by the time we realize we are living in the good ol’ days, it is too late. There is certainly nothing wrong with having positive memories and good past experiences and there is certainly nothing wrong with reflecting on them. I heard Bob Iger, the CEO of the Walt Disney Company once say something incredibly wise: “Respect the past, but don’t revere it.” However, I feel as if I am continuing to see a rise a reverence of the past without proper respect for it. This appears as a statement or a belief that as a church, as a country and as a world that our best days are behind us. That if we could only get back to X, then things would be good again. But I deeply believe that this is flawed thinking on a couple of fronts.
The first is that just because you feel like the past was better for you, doesn’t mean it was for everybody. We live in a broken world that has been broken ever since humans showed up on it. So, it’s at least a somewhat selfish perspective to be wanting to bring the past to the present. Wouldn’t we rather move forward?
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.