Tagged: nostalgia

When nostalgia isn’t helpful

“In nostalgia, one sacrifices the present and the possibility of the future as one squats in the past. Nostalgia implies that God is present in one moment and not another, or more perniciously, that one prefers to be in a previous, unlivable moment more than the one God has brought them to now . . .

Our participation in the renewal of all things requires remembering the past. When we remember the past, we let the past portrayal of the future inform our present. In other words, when we look to the past, we re-view the present and our world in light of the future. This affects our perception of and action in the present . . .

Christians are called to remember the past, not to live in it. A follower of Jesus is not nostalgic. We do not turn to the past to reencounter or remedy a personal wound like some do in nostalgia. Rather, we turn to the past in order to reencounter healing and reconciliation with the goal of remedying the wounds of others here and now. Incarnational remembrance is sacrificial, not selfish. It minds the past to draw on it; it does not fill the mind with the past in order to reenact or relive it. Incarnational remembrance renews, it doesn’t relive.”
–Kyle David Bennett


What Will It Take Today?

What will it take today to jolt you from
The slumber of living on groggy autopilot?
A near miss, a close call, a double take?
The scent of people’s perfumes and,
At rare moments, of people themselves
As you huddle with them in the elevator?
The fact that being “only human”
Is really as much a confession as an alibi?
The sight of a teabag slowly suffused
With hot water like a sinking continent?
A hopeful past? A memorable future?
The sweet unplaced nostalgia in
The smell of a newly sharpened pencil?
The thought of your own life and the mortality
That sticks with it like wet pages?
Or, like Mr. Buechner, the surprise of
Finding yourself praying
But not knowing what you were asking?