There are many times I look at my life and think that I might like to go back to a time or a place where life was different...
I would love to go back to when I weighed 140 pounds, for example, my senior year of High School, before I injured my back and could do anything physically that I wanted to do. Back then I totally took my good health and young body for granted.
Sometimes I wish I could go back to when I was a single professional. I had energy to stay up and play Rook until 3 in the morning and still get up the next day. I had tons of friends, plenty of money I could spend on only me, and compared to now, very few responsibilities.
And then there are times when I look back over our four homes and churches that we had in our first twenty years of marriage. I remember the people, I remember the experiences, I remember the good moments. I remember times when our kids were younger and our house was full of energy and fun.
I look back over jobs that I have had, particularly back at Bethany, and think about how much fun it was to work with my local team and how much I loved my fellow RDs. I think about my board and the relationship we had and I miss those days.
The children of Israel were the same way. They told Moses that they wanted to go back to Egypt. They even list leeks and onions as a reason. They remembered all the good things about Egypt as it compared to their wilderness experience and they were convinced that they wanted to go back.
But just like we do, they forgot the bad parts and reminisced about the good times of the past. They somehow even forgot about the fact that they were hard-working slaves!
Moses tried to help them realize that they were where God wanted them, and that there was a purpose.
I would love to go back and play Rook for a night or two, but there is something comforting about crawling into bed at 9:30 with a person you've spent nearly half your life with.
It would be fun to chase around little kids for a day or two, but my blog can attest that I got TIRED and CRABBY when we had a houseful. And you will notice that above I never said I wanted to go back to the years when we had 9 teenagers at once.
I'd love to go back in time and worship with each of our congregations for a Sunday, but if I were there I would be missing my people here.
I miss my old jobs, and my old friends, but I still talk to some of them very often. I still connect to them on Facebook and I know that they are there for me ... just a text away... if I need them. And I have new people to fill their places right here and right now.
Sure, we all want to go back sometimes, but it's important to remember that God has a plan for us that includes us being right here right now. That's where our energy needs to be -- on the present.
Thought I'd stick this song in here because it always makes me smile. Keith Green had a powerful impact on my adolescence and he summed up this idea well in this song.