“My youth is renewed like the eagle” (Psalm 103:5)
I grew up in a small town – Elyria, Ohio – during the 1950’s/1960’s. It was a safe time when we could leave our doors unlocked at night. People respected one another. Perry Mason could solve anything. Father always knew best. And everyone wanted to live with Ozzie and Harriet. It was a time when girls could sneak out of pajama parties at two in the morning and roam the streets without being in danger. It was a time of hula hoops, bobby socks, and poodle skirts; and it ushered us into the teenage years of football games at the old Ely stadium, Friday night dances at the YWCA, and burgers at Oh Boys. Our biggest joy was when the cute guy who sat next to us in Mrs. Naegele’s English class asked us to the homecoming dance. Our biggest fear was that someone might tell our parents they saw us smoking a cigarette at The Pit.
Fast forward 55 plus years. We no longer live in those times of peace and respect. Everyone seems to think they can solve about anything – even though they really can’t. Parents don’t know anything – or so kids think. Streets are not safe for anyone – especially at two in the morning. Fashion is, well, at times I’m not so sure I call it fashion. Dating is a thing of the past. Hooking up for the night is the norm. And many parents would be grateful if their biggest concern was that their child smoked cigarettes. Thankfully, Oh Boys is still bringing us their outstanding burgers. Those burgers may be the only good nostalgia we have to hang on to.
In a world that is now marked by viruses, wars, anger, drugs and murder, it is comforting at times to reflect on the “good old days.” Kind of like wrapping yourself up in a warm fuzzy blanket on a cold day. The times when life was easier, love was more genuine, and respect was more than an old-fashioned word. A time when we didn’t think about which side of history we were going to come out on.
Memory is God’s gift to us. It is a gift that has purpose and value. (“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done” – Psalm 143:5) Memory provides a place where we can retain important information. A place we can travel through and reminiscence; recollecting and gathering up souvenirs we realize have been sitting on the shelves of our minds, waiting to be rediscovered.
So, give yourself sometime today to sit down, lean back, and wrap up in that warm fuzzy blanket and reminiscence. Take a walk down memory lane. Whether you too are from Elyria, Ohio, or wherever your hometown is, blow the dust off the shelves in your memory, and gather up some good recollections that bring a smile to your face. Then enjoy. It’s one of God’s gifts to us.