Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. ~Ecclesiastes 7:10 (NLT)
My baby leaves for college this week. She graduated from high school in June, so I’ve had time to adjust to the idea of letting her go. In fact, the whole college process began nearly a year ago, and yet, I’m not sure I’m ready for the change. We’re packing what little she’s taking this weekend, and since we don’t know the size of the dorm room, we’ll join all the other parents on the pilgrimage to Wal-Mart after we arrive on campus.
It’s hard not to long for the good old days. Reading bedtime stories, making play-doh hamburgers at the kitchen table, running on the playground. Then came learning to ride a bike, and with it skinned knees and bruised shins. The middle school years, oh the middle school years. And high school, the scariest of all—first job, first date, first time behind the wheel.
The transition from one chapter to the next comes to every family, generation, and culture. My parents experienced it, and now my daughter will experience it too. The Old Testament saints were called to leave their homes and go to the land of promise, without a roadmap, and without any details of what to expect. They set out by faith, trusting the One who promised, knowing that He would give them a home and an inheritance. To look back and long for the good old days was sin for them. That would have meant a lack of trust in the One who sent them.
If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city. ~ Hebrews 11:15-16
The saints that went before us understood what it meant to look ahead. We can also look ahead because the future is laid out before Him, even if it looks hazy to us.
I won’t be able to help myself; I know I’ll cry when we leave her alone in the dorm room and drive home without her for the first time. I can’t stay and watch over her, but just as He’s led us from one chapter to another throughout her childhood, He can be trusted to lead her step by step in the days, months, and years ahead.
Looking back, the good old days always look rosy. As tender as those days were, I can’t live there. This next chapter in the life of our family is safe in Jesus’ hands. Because of Him, my little girl has a hope and a future.
May God richly bless you, Yasmeen.
[This article first appeared at Stitches Thru Time Aug 8, 2014]