At first glance, you'd think we had a case of retro fever:
- Bell bottom pants
- Brady Bunch movie
- Return of the "golden oldie" sitcoms on Nickelodeon
- Re-release of the Star Wars Trilogy
- Popularity of retro junk like lava lamps, hula hoops, disco balls
There is a trendy-ness to retro. It's in to be out and new to be old. Nostalgia is chic.
Looking back, remembering, and recalling are all healthy. We must realize, however, that we don't see the past accurately. Just like the Star Wars releases, our pictures have been altered. Some are improved, others retouched, and absolutely new things have been added to dress up our memories. Retro is more exciting than when it was real! I believe Will Rogers said it best: "Thing just aren't what they used to be and they never were!"
Christians often talk about leaving a bad past behind, but we must also realize that we must leave our good ones behind as well. This is precisely Paul's point in Philippians 3 -- he was a good as Judaism had to offer, but that goodness was only so much garbage when compared to what Jesus would ultimately accomplish in him.
It doesn't matter whether we've been bad or good, we can gain perspective by looking back. On the other hand, only when we faithfully move forward can we truly honor Jesus as Lord of our own personal life story.
Dressing retro can be fun. Seeing retro movies can be a hoot. Collecting retro junk is an interesting hobby. Living retro is irrelevant, unhealthy, and irresponsible. The highway ahead of is much more dangerous if we spend all of our time looking in the rear view mirror nostalgically. Wanting things to be like they used to be puts us in a retouched past and keeps us from being faithful in the ever challenging present and prohibits us from entering the future and claiming it for Christ.
Retro may be fun, but don't let it be a funk. He who died to reclaim our tomorrows asks us to greet them with holy expectation. Jesus calls us forward to face an uncertain world with faith in his certain future. Embrace it! Pursue it! Redeem it!