Holding on to Yesterday by Ambrosia, Living in the Past by Jethro Tull, the Carpenters' Yesterday Once More, Reminiscing by The Little River Band, Amy Grant's Stay for Awhile, and Paul Simon's classic Still Crazy After All These Years. Songs that talk about old days, old friends, old relationships. Gotta love 'em!
When I think about it, songs like these make up a large portion of what you'll find on my i-pod these days. Yep, there are many new songs I am loving- Duffy and her great Warwick Avenue, Estelle's American Boy, and lest you think I only listen to the girls, Elliott Yamin's fine new Fight For Love. Now, via my daughter's obsession, Jason Mraz and Keith Urban as well. (Why, oh, why does Maroon5 have to have such filthy lyrics? The music is so catchy!)
It's easy to only look backwards. Simple human nature to look at the earlier parts of our lives to the things that were good, or to reflect- even obsess- on our mistakes and failures. If this brings thankfulness or helps us heal, it can be a great thing. Yet, looking backward can also keep us from looking with hope and excitement toward the future. God chose to remind the people of Israel to look foward and to Him. For their sake. The prophet Isaiah wrote:
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland,to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. (Isaiah 43:18-21)
Here is my challenge: to look forward to the days ahead and to look at the days behind with thankfulness for His goodness, His mercy, His forgiveness. Either direction I look, I can proclaim how good God is and be thankful for the things He has done. What a wonderful thing to be able to say. And what a wonderful God we serve.