Focus on the Future
Dr. John K. Mathew
By the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept when we remembered Zion,
There on the poplars, we hung our harps...
How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?" ( Psalms 137 : 1- 4)
It is believed that this Psalm is written toward the end of the second exile and the author is very nostalgic.
The memory of the past really hurts him and his agony is clearly evident in his words.
At times we are all gripped by the influence of nostalgia.
We see Job to be very nostalgic and he cries out, " how I long for the months gone by, for the day's God watched over me .........
Oh for the days when I was in my prime when God's intimate friendship blessed my house" (Job 29: 2, 4).
In the same way, David is longing for some water from the well in Bethlehem.
Memory is good to a certain extent, but we can't live in the past.
We need to face the reality of today. We know that it is a time of isolation and alienation, anxiety, and lack of happiness.
It may be a time of unhappiness but certainly not a time of hopelessness because our God is the God of the future.
That's why God said to them who cried when the foundation of the second temple was laid, " the glory of this temple will be greater than the glory of the former house"( Haggai 2:9)
History reveals that the Kingdom of Babylon collapsed and a new kingdom came into existence, permission was given to the captives to return to their land.
So, in conclusion, may I write:
Forget the past for the time being.
Face the reality of today and
Focus on the future. Amen.