We used to think that technology would solve all of our problems. During a recent trip to Disneyland I got to thinking about how cool “Tomorrowland” must have been back in its day. It’s funny to think that when Disneyland opened in 1955, this is what they thought the glorious new world would look like.
With all of the literally unbelievable scientific advances that came during the twentieth century, I can’t blame them for hoping that the future would bring a world that was better in every way.But still, it’s funny to think that the Leave It to Beaver generation would look ahead and think that our best days were still ahead of us, that the Jetsons might stand a better
I see the opposite trend now. Though few want to give up on the conveniences of ever-improving technology, our society seems to be getting more nostalgic. Take a picture via Instagram and you can choose from twenty different ways of making your modern life look old. The ultra modern aesthetic seems to be waning; many of us would rather shop at an antique store than Ikea.chance at happiness than Andy Griffith.
I don’t want to read too much into anyone’s style, nor do I think I have a firm handle on any cultural trends. But I do see a common thread that seems to run through this apparent shift from futurism to nostalgia:
We all want to experience a golden age, and we’re quite certain that this is not it.
Our best days are ahead of us. No wait, our best days are behind us. If we could only live in the world of the future, where every wrinkle has been ironed out by technology. If only we could live in the world of the past, where life was simpler and families were happy.
The lie inherent in the search for the golden age is that our salvation lies on a timeline. If we do want to be timeline oriented, there are a few key dates that we need to focus on. Those first seven days B.C. when God spoke all of this into existence. The shift from B.C. to A.D. when God began to play a human role in the drama of redemption. Thirty some years later when He conquered every enemy by rising from the grave. The Day of the Lord, coming at some unidentified point in the future, when all the world will be set to rights.
And the date that we often overlook on the timeline: today. Read through Hebrews 3 and 4 and feel the urgency in the use of the word “today.” This is our time to act, to be the people God has made us to be. This is the only golden age we get until time and eternity meet and everything is transformed. God has placed us at this moment in history to fulfill some great purpose. But we will never find that purpose—let alone fulfill it—if we are always staring wistfully at the future or the past.