Have you ever caught yourself being nostalgic? Have you ever been in a bad situation and just tried remembering the “Good Ole’ Days?” I know I have. When I look at children these days, I am often reminded of all the fun things we did, and how their lives show none of that. Like if you are my age you remember the excitement of Saturday morning cartoons. We couldn’t watch whatever we wanted to at anytime on demand. If we missed a week, we had to ask our friends what happened, or try to fill in plot holes ourselves.
We do this in other life situations as well. For example, have you ever left one job to go to another you thought was going to be better? However, when you got to the new job the excitement wore off, the honeymoon phase ended, and you are left asking yourself “why did I do this?”
What about buying a new car, or vacuum, or computer, getting a new credit card, or acquiring some other type of debt. It was the one thing you knew you couldn’t live without, and then out of nowhere, BOOM buyer’s remorse. We as people are constantly looking down the road, and most of the time when we get to where we are going, we are left asking ourselves, “Why did I leave in the first place?”
We spend so much time planning this perfect future, that we forget to live in the imperfect present. What we need to realize is, if we get that job, if we buy that new iPhone, if we get this house, if we get… it will never make us happy! We will always be looking for the next promotion, the next house, the latest phone, the…fill in the blank. This is because eternity is placed in the heart of every man (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are always searching for more, because God designed us to be more.
If we look at Numbers 14, we see the Israelites complaining about being brought out of Egypt. Now understand this, they just spent 400 years in Egypt in slavery. They are out in the wilderness and tell Moses they wanted to go back to be a slave!! No matter how bad life was in Egypt, I mean getting beat, forced to do manual labor, they thought that was better than what they had.
I know, none of us would ever want to be enslaved, all of us would have been ecstatic to leave Egypt, but the question begs, “Would we?” I mean, isn’t this what we always do? We make all these plans, then when we finally achieve these goals, we are usually left going “That’s it?” This is what I sacrificed so much for? This is what I gave up time with my family, time for relaxing, money, sweat and tears for?
Then we look at our Egypt and suddenly it doesn’t look so bad. We start longing, to just go back to what we had. The problem with this is, when we are always looking back it is impossible to move forward. We get stuck in this, constantly walking back into our vomit (Proverbs 26:11).
Yes, there will be mistakes we make in life, and yes sometimes we need to regroup. However, the worst possible thing we can do is return to the idols we were delivered from. Idols are very hard to destroy, and when we desire to return to them, we are running back to slavery of them.