Growing up in a small town, it's common to hear people reminisce about "The Good Ol' Days." When hanging out with your old buddies or going to a local high school football game, everyone loves to talk about the way things used to be. I will admit I have fallen victim to doing this before, but I usually am the first to become frustrated when these conversations go on for too long. I guess it's because I have never been one to look too far into the past. Life has its ups and downs, but God works for us in the past as much as He works for us today and in the future. Since this is true, why spend your whole life looking behind you when God still has so much planned ahead of you?
Despite all of the encouraging scripture in the Bible, the book of Ecclesiastes is known for its pessimistic writings, often citing the phrase "life is meaningless." However, when you really study this book of the Bible, you'll see there's greater meaning behind the seemingly pessimistic scriptures. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, "The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride." Verse 10 says, "Do not say, 'Why were the old days better than these? For it is not wise to ask such questions.'" In Verse 14, the writer makes their point: "When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future."
No matter what those "good ol' days" were like, the Bible says it's not wise to ask questions about why things have changed. The point of the book of Ecclesiastes is not to tell us our lives don't matter. Our lives do matter, but only when we live in reverence to God and appreciate each day as a gift from Him. If we don't do this, what are we saying about our Creator? It's human nature to want the world to be our way, but it's God's way that makes up the past, present, and future. In my "good ol' days" during the ups and downs of my young life, my former youth leader would always tell me, "You have such a great life ahead of you." Taking a brief second to look back, he was right, and I believe the same is true for you too.