'Good Old Days'

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

Aren’t old photos fun?  They make us laugh and they make us cry.  I have a photo made on my 16th birthday.  I am seated behind my birthday cake with my grandmother and grandfather standing behind me.  None of us are smiling.  Were we grieving my turning 16?  Was I disappointed I did not receive an automobile?  None of us are smiling…for the life of me I cannot imagine why there were no smiles in that photo.

Occasionally I sit with old photos and reminisce.  One of our more poignant family photos was taken when our children were 6, 4 and six months of age.  Sharon looks like she is weary beyond weary…Her hair is all puffed up and I am, well I look like “Whose idea was this?”  The stress of achieving three young children sitting still with smiles, no less, must have been one of our craziest ideas.

Looking backward can be fun…However, it is tempting for me to forget how the ‘good old’ days’, as we call them, came to be.  At one moment in time the ‘good old days’ were the ‘good present’ days.  I can be one who does not seize the moment too well…and then when I reflect back I wish I had done a better job of enjoying the present moment.  What we do in the here and now is vitally important because we are creating the ‘good old days’ of tomorrow.

I wonder what others will say about these “shelter in place” days in the future.  I wonder what they will say about how we handled this pandemic…how we as church changed…how we as a human race became different or remained the same.  I wonder.

I wonder what history will prove to be true about us…were we people of faith or people of fear?  Were we people who loved or people who judged?  Were we people who came together for the common call of the Gospel or will we still insist on our focus of petty differences?  I wonder.

As I read from Joan Chittister’s commentary on the The Rule of Benedict this week, something she wrote really struck me.  She wrote, “No one grows simply by doing what someone else forces us to do.  We begin to grow when we finally want to grow.” (P.5)

I wonder what others will learn about me as they look across my life…Was I a grower?  Or was I stagnate?  What will a reflection of the ‘good old days’ reveal about me?  About you?  About us?

Always Thinking…

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