Thursday, April 4, 2013

Torch the 8-Track

Full disclosure: I do not now, nor have I ever, owned an 8-Track.

I was a totally hip dude with a cassette player in my car (the wave of the future). 8-Tracks were for relics who drove a Pacer or perhaps a Pinto.

In continuing with the previous post's musings on nostalgia, I realized the other day that I have a completely bipolar love/hate relationship with classic rock. Classic rock from the radio, of course, but even the "classic" era of Christian music (think: Larry Norman, Randy Stonehill, Keith Green).

It's fun to be reminded of earlier years. It can be challenging/invigorating to revisit early Christian albums (particularly Keith Green's) and recall the vibrancy of new-found faith. And because all songs are typically associated with memories of life, there is a fond nostalgia associated with hearing these songs again. (Except the Bay City Rollers singing "Saturday Night". Couldn't stand that one even when it was current.)

At the same time, "only the dead live in the past..."

I love this quote from John Fischer's classic True Believers Don't Ask Why":

"Faith is not a memory; it is a present-tense engagement with reality. Faith is unpleasant because it always asks you to do something you've never done before -- if not, it is not faith. Faith can only live when I've been stretched into a realm where I must act on what I believe without seeing it.

"It takes no faith to dream about the past; that kind of dreaming slows down faith."

I think this may be the key for discerning the difference between forgetting the past, and getting back on track by revisiting our roots:
  • Dreaming about the past is a dead-end.
  • Remembering our roots to invigorate ourselves for whatever "walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7) step may be next is the way forward.
I will now go about my day, looking forward to whatever faith-dependent steps are before me. And crank up some Doobie Brothers as I go.

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