Nostalgia

nos·tal·gia/nä?stalj?/
Noun:
A sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

This photo, shot earlier this year in our red room, is stunning to me for two reasons.

The first is the moment it captured. Judah’s back is turned, implying I snuck in unannounced. Which I did. As if we’re spying on a private discovery-jam session. The depth of field, the lighting through the window, and the detailed simplicity all contribute to a well composed image.

The second is that this is a near perfect recreation of me…30-years ago. A different house, a different guitar (also belonging to my mother, as is the one in the shot to his mommy), and a captivating fascination with making an instrument emanate sound through simple touch.

One of the most incredible anomalies that occurs in parenting is the wonder of seeing yourself manifest – most often unannounced and uncultivated – in the lives of your children.

Reproduction isn’t just an act, it’s a process. One that creates legacy.

I can only insist through personal experience that the heavenly Father feels the same way we do. Seeing His own nature, His own character, likes, and habits suddenly appear in His children has got to be thrilling. And rewarding.

And makes Him proud. Simply because we’ve been reproduced. After Him.

The worthwhile questions to ask? “What God-traits of my Father am I exhibiting naturally?” (Because I have His nature now – 2 Peter 1:4). “How and to whom am I helping reproduce after Christ?”

The beauty of seeing myself in Judah is that I’m not looking back. I’m enjoying the moment, and looking ahead.

The danger of nostalgic emotions is letting them dupe you into believing yesterday was better than today. Yesterday could never be better than today because the beauty of the present is hidden within free will; the past has already been decided and is dated. It has neither the power nor the potential of the present.

So choose wisely. Your future nostalgia depends on it. ch:

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  • Marcia Bauchle

    Beautifully put, CH. Something one of my girls said the other day was this same feeling. The baton has been passed. And I pray that they are able to give their children more. I heard a saying once, that in the hebrew culture, a man (person) is considered a success if they impart to their children everything that they know. Then they, in turn, can pass that on plus whatever they learn. Eventually, a generation would be very wise. I pray that for my children and future generations to come.

    • “A man (person) is considered a success if they impart to their children everything that they know.”

      Reinforcing the onus of “in all your getting, get wisdom” as the preeminent construct. (Prov. 4:7) Love this, Marcia. Thanks for sharing.

  • Love this “The worthwhile questions to ask? “What God-traits of my Father am I exhibiting naturally?” (Because I have His nature now – 2 Peter 1:4). “How and to whom am I helping reproduce after Christ?””
    If people see our parents in us or us in our kids (generally speaking,of course) it’s because they know us or have been around us.
    Other christians look for similarities to Jesus. Cause they know us & Jesus.
    One can one hope that those that do know Jesus can see something different.we pray our heavily fathers traits stick out,& will be reproduced in those around us.

    • Yes, allowing the inner light of Christ to become the outer glow is most likely our highest calling as Believers.

  • Hannah Hayner

    first of all, i looove the picture. it’s not only a great shot with perfect lighting, but also so sweet and perfect for your topic.
    second, what a great way to see it. the way we’re so proud of our kids, and smile when they do something that reminds us of ourselves, how much more must our Father in heaven burst at the seams when He sees us being like Him! i hope i make Him feel like that a whole lot today! 🙂

  • shane marolf

    I tend to be a nostalgic person. I never think the past was better or wish I could relive. It is more of the times that were impactful or meanigful. I do very much like this manner of looking at it. Second favorite post that you have written.

    • You’re clearly someone who has a proper handle on the past, Shane. I admire that; a sign of true maturity.

      Thanks for who you are, and all you do.

  • I never really thought about it that way. You’re right. The past is a memory, the future a mystery, and the present an experience that we don’t want to miss out on.

    • You sound an awful lot like Oogway in Kung-Fu Panda:

      Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the “present.”

  • Whoops! I came awful close to plagiarism there. And I thought I was being original. 😉

    • I like your better anyways…the fact that you didn’t know makes it all the more powerful.

  • Billy Jepma

    That’s a great post, and so true to. Getting caught up in the past is nothing good, using it to look forward is. 🙂 Btw, that picture is phenomenal!!!

  • Christian Fahey

    “Reproduction isn’t just an act, it’s a process. One that creates legacy.” Well put, C. I can’t help but be reminded of a line from “Leader of the Band” (Dan Fogelberg) “I am a living legacy to the leader of the band” (son’s tribute to his father). Beautiful. And the photo of Judah is priceless. 🙂 “Hereunto were you called that you should follow in His steps…”