Right Where You Are (Killing Nostalgia)
I was having a conversation with a friend a few weeks ago about some future decisions we were both making when he said something that changed the way I viewed decision making forever
With the most casual tone of voice he said, “I make sure I’m not making decisions out of nostalgia.”
Just in case you hardly use the word nostalgia (which I didn’t at the time), it’s definition is:
a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
When my friend said what he said, I said silently to myself - “Wow. I’ve never thought about it like that. I wonder how many decisions I’ve made out of nostalgia?”
I was scared to answer my own question, because deep down inside I knew that I’ve made countless decisions with my only intention being to relive an amazing moment or time from my past.
It was just something I did…
Something I did regularly.
Like decisions to visit certain people, to do certain shows, to take the same road, to do the same project again, to visit a certain city on a certain holiday, to watch a movie or to go somewhere…
The list goes on and on.
And you know what?
Almost every time I make a decision out of nostalgia or get caught up in nostalgic day dreams about the past (which I honestly didn’t even realize I was doing), I end up feeling let down and completely unsatisfied.
Well, I truly believe it’s an evil game the devil loves to play with us. He loves for us to mentally dwell on the good of the past or focus so intensely on trying to recreate our past in the future that we don’t live in the now… so that we don’t embrace the new.
It seems so harmless when we do it. But is it?
If we’re not present in the now and in the new that God is doing, we miss our God-given opportunity to do something right where we are that can change the course of life, even history, itself.
So, what a revelation to have: giving into nostalgia most often leaves us chasing a memory that was made to only happen once. It’s like chasing the wind.
It’s like making a decision out of nostalgia is trying to recreate a gift or experience God gave us in the past, as if He’s never going to give us anything in the present or future.
Living in nostalgia is being stuck.
Oh, what a joy for out biggest hater (the devil)… to see us stuck.
He knows, more than we do sometimes, how much we’re capable of and likes to limit us as much as possible.
No more limitations.
My friend has no idea, but his statement has unchained me and released my eyes to see a bit more of what I’m capable.
He’s challenged me tremendously with his statement about nostalgia. So much to where I’m constantly reevaluating my decisions and choices.
Instead of of trying to often escape my reality of where I’m at right now in my life (which we can often be made to believe is not good enough) and recreate the good of the past, I’m jumping out of my own ideas/experiences of what’s great and trusting God to reveal His.
Well, I’m glad you asked.
With one simple question: What do you have for me to do right where I am?”
Or in other words: “How can I make a difference/help/serve/love/be known right where I am?”
It’s such a simple, liberating question. It’s allowed me to free myself from the concept that life doesn’t happen until a major event happens in my life or the lie that “life we’ll never be as good as it was back when ________ happened.”
It’s just not true.
Satisfaction and true life for both you and I happens right here… right now.
So, I’m asking God how I can have the time of my life right where I stand.
I don’t need to be anywhere else.
If I did, He’ would have let me know.
I need to be right where I am.
Can you relate? If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably woken up before with a strong desire to escape your circumstance/reality/hometown/life before.
You might even be feeling like that now.
No need to be ashamed. It’s common.
A lot of people feel that way.
It’s most likely because the world around us is constantly shouting that where we stand is never good enough. And no matter how strong we are or tough we claim to be, if we hear something long enough… we’ll believe it.
“Get a better car”
“Impress people you don’t even like"
“Your clothes are out of date”
“You’re not thin enough”
“Your effort is not good enough”
"Run after pointless pursuits”
Ever heard some of those voices?
"Faith comes by hearing…”, but so does doubt, nostalgia, and that feeling of restlessness that makes us want to run from place to place… from person to person… from thing to thing. (Romans 10:17)
So, I’m hear to encourage you: be present right where you are and dream new dreams right where you stand. I am; I have to or life will seemingly suck when I think about it.
I challenge you to join me in putting nostalgia to death. Let’s not let the good things of the past dictate and limit our future. Let’s ask God to help us and lead us to do new things right where He has us.
He’s all about a new thing. (Isaiah 43:19)
Now, just something I think needs to be said: beware of thinking that the new thing is bigger, better and shinier. That’s not always true.
In fact, sometimes the new thing is a new way of thinking, a new way of approaching a family member, a new way to manage your time, or a new way of celebrating a holiday.
Be led. Don’t try to kill nostalgia by forcing a bunch of new things to happen in your life and quitting your job because “Martay said to kill nostalgia”.
Not a good idea.
Ask God before you make any moves on how to not let the past hold you back or weigh you down.
With that, I ask — how can you kill nostalgia in your life?
I want to hear. Comment below and let me know.
All my love,