I don’t know why, but when the weather turns cooler I find myself getting more nostalgic for the people and places of my past. Today, I caught myself wishing I could revisit my grandparents’ old house on Alcy Road in Memphis.
Then it occurred to me. Maybe I will. Not in the sense of actually driving back to Memphis and going to that neighborhood. Maybe in another way.
Perhaps all the places you and I loved back when and long for were glimpses of what heaven will be like. In The Chronicles of Narnia, when Peter, Lucy, Edmund, and the rest get to the New Narnia, one of them says that all the reason that he loved certain parts of the Old Narnia is that they reminded him of the new. The Old Narnia itself was a shadow and a copy of the New Narnia, the Real and True Narnia.
For me, I have a fondness for Union University. In the past, I had times when I even dreamed of going back and what it would be like. In this case, I really was able to go back, only to discover that the campus has so radically changed that I recognize very little of it. The people that made it so great weren’t there.
I see now that it wasn’t the actual brick-and-mortar buildings that I loved. It was the memories housed in those places — memories of people and events that shaped who I am now. The best memories were the tiniest glimpses into eternity, almost of heaven breaking through.
You can’t go back. Not really. You can never recreate a moment once it’s gone. You can cherish the memory of it and recognize that you saw a little bit of heaven in it. You can devote yourself to living every day to the fullest in pursuit of making new memories rather than living in the past and dwelling solely on old ones.