What the 1980's are teaching us about our future

What is going on with all this retro stuff that America is going crazy with? Everywhere you look, someone is trying to kick it old school and go back in time. There is the 1980's-ET-sythesizer-inspired Stranger Things show on Netflix (which is awesome, by the way) that pretty much everyone I know who graduated high school in the 1980's is gaga about. The newer Progressive insurance commercials are all now filmed as retro 1970's spots. Then there are movies - how many remakes of older movies are we gonna see? Hello Ghostbusters and Poltergeist, not to mention War Games, Commando, and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids which are just a few that are in the process of being remade.

And oh my word, there are the clothing and music styles. The 1980's absolutely haunt me at times, not because it was such a bad decade but because my style was so pitiful. I had hair then, amazing blonde hair with a natural wave to it. But I parted that hair down the middle and heavily hair sprayed it, preserving for decades horrific yearbook images that I still can't escape.

And yes, I owned and often wore a pair of acid washed jeans. I even tight rolled them at the bottom as I paired them with my favorite Stan Smith Adidas shoes. And yes, my musical tastes were often driven by synthesizers, although I did buck the trend by dabbling in some punk rock music and what became known as early alternative rock. Sounds and looks a lot like today, huh?

Why do find ourselves coming to roost in the nostalgia of the past so often? When we get all caught up in reminiscing about how amazing the past was, what we are doing is looking negatively at our NOW while believing that we really had it figured out in our PAST. And there is nothing wrong with reveling in the past, as long as you don't convince yourself that nothing in the future could ever be better. If we can't do that, then we are guilty of violating the golden rule of history: Learn from it or you are doomed to repeat it.

Nostalgia should fuel our desire to do greater things, not keep up mired in mediocrity. I sincerely believe that many of us are paralyzed by the shrines of the past that we so readily build. But what if we could take what the past has taught us and use it to propel us to make our future memories better than what history could ever teach us? Can we even do this?

God's word says that we can. Psalm 119:92-93 tells us, "If Your instruction had not been my delight, I would have died in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for You have given me life through them." The guy who wrote this is happily reminded just how much he has learned from the past and how grateful he is that what God had formulated in eternity had changed the course of his life in the future. The past can be awesome, but only if it causes us to go further and deeper and greater into the future. If not, then all we are left with are just some stale memories and an inability to move beyond the equivalent of high school greatness.

Brush the dust off of your letter jacket and put your cassette player away. Stop waiting for MTV to actually play music videos again. What God has in mind for your future could be amazing if you will only let Him have his way.

1 comment:

Cindy Bliss said...

I have tons of cassette tapes :)
Great encouragement to press on and do great things for God!

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