All generalizations are bad, someone observed – but this one by a 2016 Presidential candidate, is not :
“Yesterday is over — and we’re never going back.”
Well, obliviously – nothing is more disconcerting or depressing than to engage with folks who cannot accept the fact that the news yesterday is history today.
Wistful thinking about how much better life was way back when is like looking at old photo-albums of people enjoying a vacation, or a celebration and thinking that’s all they ever did – dress up in fun places and smile. The album never has pictures of the hassles before the trip, getting lost, doing all the work for the party – or the clean up afterwards!
My parents weren’t hung up on returning to the good old days – for their young years were harsh. In my days of growing up and raising a family, I never hankered to go back to the days of fewer conveniences.
So, it is with a soupcon of chagrin I now confess: I kind of like life’s rear-view mirror more than I should. Today, yesterdays occupy more space in my brain then they should. Everything was simpler, safer, and more serene – because I had no responsibility. For the years when I had responsibilities, I had more energy. And I had more answers, too.
Gosh, I was smart back then!
For I can remember the yesterdays when dread was not an unseen but powerful companion.
Dread arrived when the kids arrived; he – or she — said little, except whisper a what if now and then that made me doubt my ability to completely guard the little lives entrusted to us. As the kids grew up, I could hear Dread’s voice more clearly.
That’s when I welcomed a suggestion that a friend made.
Her son was undergoing relentless testing for a profound genetic defect, and I wanted to help bare a tiny portion of the family’s trial. She told me to form a praise choir.
I had no idea that she simply meant to open up my hymnal and start singing.
I did just that, and felt useful in a tough time. My friend and her family still had to endure many challenges – but I believe that rehearsing the great hymns of the faith was a way to pray for them when words never sounded right, or enough.
I also overcame many of the fears that attacked during the days we began our publishing business, raised our kids, and helped aging parents. Note: Overcoming fear didn’t mean I was so fabulous at what I did.
Yesterday is over and while we’re never going back, I don’t have to forget today the lessons that gave me strength and wisdom and hope.
Dread managed to make the move from Maryland to Texas right along with us, and introduced me to many more paralyzing topics – topics that loom large as my “resources” diminish. I still have that Trinity hymnal I used when I sang a capella and not always on key.
Now I can sing with choirs – thanks to the convenience of YouTube. I like to join in with John Rutter’s Cambridge Singers, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
“No matter what roller coaster ride we’re on, the safety bar of God’s character keeps us secure. Grab hold and don’t let go.” ― Denise K. Loock, Open Your Hymnal Again: More Devotions That Harmonize Scripture with Song
Do you have a favorite hymn, dear reader – one that lightens the despairing corners of your heart, one that is more effective than a box of Kleenex?
I hope these get you singing — especially if it is raining!
Gaelic Blessing: Cambridge Singers