The Good Ol' Days: Are they just in our heads?

Photo by renjith krishnan
Last Wednesday morning when I was supposed to be getting ready for a military ceremony, I turned on the TV to help me wake up. I'm not a morning person. Anyway, this Hub channel came up, and it was showing JEM and the Holgrams!

Ok, for those of you who were busy watching Dallas at the time, JEM is an 80s cartoon. Anyone who knows me will tell you how much of an 80s child I am. DVD sets of Transformers, Thundercats, and Voltron get regular rotation in my DVD player. And do you ever come across those infomercials for 80s power ballads? My husband thinks I own every song made from that decade. A slight exaggeration, but he may not be too far off the mark!

But as I watched JEM, that nostalgic feeling came over me. You know when you get that little twinge in your gut? Of course, I could have just been hungry. But there was a distinct and tiny pain as I began to think back on those days of fun. Before adulthood came with its responsibilities, my biggest concern was figuring out how to pry the Optimus Prime action figure away from my cousin. Or waiting for MTV to play "We Are The World" again.

Nostalgia is a Greek compound, nostos, meaning "returning home" and algos, meaning "ache" (Thank you, Wikipedia!). Webster's defines it as "a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition".

That part "excessively sentimental" got me. Instead of enjoying the cartoon for what it was, I allowed myself to gather pleasant childhood memories, completely ignore the unpleasant ones, and compare them to the adult life I have now. How unbalanced and inaccurate is that?

I'm grateful the Holy Spirit reminded me of Isaiah 43:18-19: "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?"

God promises that if we keep pressing on in life, He will bring us new and fresh experiences that will impact us and others. Our lives will never be stale. Our Lord challenges us to trust Him, going on to say in verse 19: "I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

I have seen renewal and joy happen in my own life in recent weeks. God will do what seems too awesome and impossible if we stop dwelling on the past.

What shows did you watch growing up? Do you watch cartoons with your children now? Have a fun weekend!