Action Zones 

The Rockin' Rev May 2022


Looking back to move forward

Once upon a time, back in 1688 to be precise, the role of nostalgia was thought to be harmful. One Swiss doctor at the time was convinced that to have nostalgic cravings was a symptom of neurological disease
Do you indulge in sentimental memories? Do you enjoy perusing photo collections or listening to old songs on the radio, YouTube, or other popular media? If so, don’t feel embarrassed - social scientists now say that nostalgia isn’t only harmless but that it enhances our wellbeing. Feeling sentimental is a sign of good emotional health
Nostalgic cravings are nothing new. We take pictures, collect souvenirs, and establish traditions to remind ourselves of special relationships and events in our lives. We do so because, let’s be honest, some days we need to be reminded of how much we love our families and our friends, and that life is worth living
As I approach retirement, I’ve found myself looking back in recent weeks. I began my ordained ministry in the Church of England back in 1994, and for the last six years I’ve been vicar of the parish of St Andrew’s in Gorleston
And just like thumbing through old photos (and even old sermons) can help us see how far our lives have come, looking back on my walk with Jesus has helped me to appreciate his faithfulness and provision in ways that I perhaps haven’t always noticed
Throughout the Old Testament (the first 39 books of the Bible), we read how the nation of Israel built monuments and established traditions to help them remember God’s power and faithfulness
Over the years, I too have kept a record of God’s work in my life and in the lives of others. I’ve also kept a journal of what I’ve learned from the Bible and memorized meaningful portions of the Bible
Providing we don’t fall into the trap of living in the past, I believe that looking back can be helpful when it comes to moving forward and adjusting to changes in life. So, why not indulge yourself in a little nostalgia from time to time. It’s sure to do you good!     
Rev Brian Hall

Vicar, St Andrew’s Church


published by St Andrew's Church in the Gorleston Community Magazine


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