The ‘good old days’ are now, so live in the moment

The ‘good old days’ are now, so live in the moment

This column was originally published as part of my “Looking Homeward” series at

The story is a summer classic for our family. My brother, Forest, was almost 13. School had just dismissed for the summer. He dashed into the den, flung his books to the room’s corner where they would rest for the next three months, and exclaimed, “Mom, Dad? Could you please take me to the swimming pool?”

“Yes, in about five minutes,” came the reply.

The young boy bounced down the steps, grabbed a towel, threw it around his neck and headed for the car.

But he stopped abruptly, opened wide his arms as if to embrace the whole world, and whispered, “Now, for the good old days!”

As he inhaled the fresh summer breeze that launched his new days of freedom, he looked forward to finding the good old days—ahead of him.

That’s a new twist to an old saying. Most people look back on their lives and say, “Those were the good old days.” But not this twelve-year-old. He was not looking back nor ahead, but only at the present: the moment of NOW.

And he was right. The present—the moment of now—is all we have. These are the good old days because they are here, now in the moment present.

“Where are you?” is the new catch phrase in our family. With summer travel plans in motion, family time becomes up close and personal. And so do the memories. It’s easy to slip into reminiscing mode. Remember when…. We used to…It’s not the same anymore…

“Where are you?” quips one over-zealous family member playfully snapping her fingers, punctuating the jolt back to reality.

Snap! “Are you stuck in the past?”

Snap! “Are you worrying about the future?”

We smile, adjust our thought process and engage in the moment at hand. It’s a great way to keep focused on the present and the gifts that are in the here and now.

As Anne Morrow Lindbergh says, “If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass, you live more richly those moments.”

And what a day God has privileged us to live in! These are good days that offer resources and opportunities unparalleled in history.

We could be like the little fellow who loved molasses and was always dipping his finger into the molasses barrel on his back porch. One day, he fell in. The molasses barrel was deeper than he was tall. As he started sinking slowly in to the thick mountain delicacy, he prayed, “Lord make me equal to the opportunity now at hand!”

That’s the prayer we should reflect upon when considering the challenges these good old days offer. They provide opportunities for creative living, creative learning and creative loving.

Yes, there are uncertain economic conditions, worldwide political conflicts and other minuses that hover and haunt daily living.

But these are our days, the only days we have. Let’s make them good by being equal to the opportunities at hand and surrendering to the rich present that surrounds us.


“Where are you?”

What do you think?