Saturday, June 12, 2010

Nostalgia In The Hands Of The Ancient Of Days

I have always loved music, and so I appreciate satellite radio. I enjoy channel surfing through all the genres and decade selections of music. That's what I was doing, and I was doing it with one of my favorite people to do it with; my 13 year old son.

My daughter is 17. She and I share a taste for many artists; Nora Jones, Jack Johnson, John Mayer, and lots of contemporary Christian artists. But, she is not willing to tolerate my nostalgic tastes. Often, I irritate her with Elvis, Willie, Lynard and Led Zeppelin. I am fairly certain that is why her younger brother tolerates my "riding down the road while blaring Willie out the rolled down windows," not because he likes the music, but because it irritates her.

I think she enjoys the irritation, because it allows her to vent her female frustration at the childishness of the men in her life. These are good lessons for her, good training for her since most of us with male gender truly enjoy the latent boy within us. In other words, boys never really grow up and I'm helping her understand this.

Back to the purpose of this blog. I was in West Texas for the 30th reunion of the graduation of the class of 1980 from Knox City-O'brien High School. I was driving down the road with my 13 year old son next to me on a road I had travelled since childhood often sitting next to my father driving his truck. I was headed to lunch to see some old friends. I write all this to make this simple point. I was in full nostalgia mode.

While I drove, and listened, and remembered, we found Don Williams on the radio. I'm not a big Don Williams fan, but when I heard the smooth, baritone voice of this Floydada, Texas native, I was transported to other places and other times.

That's what happened that day. Don sang and I travelled back to my college days and a friend who is always in my thoughts, Phil, my college roommate who had a Don Williams album we used to "mellow out," to. Don sang and I was transported even further back to my childhood as my hand wind-surfed out the open window of Daddy's old avocado green Chevy pickup on a hot, dry, fall afternoon making our way to the country to hunt dove, or fish in Barney Arnold's ponds on the other side of the river. I looked over at my son in the vehicle next to me and poinently remembered my own childhood, and crazy as it sounds, God spoke, and I saw nostalgia as a tool in the hand of God. He was working in me through that experience, the memories, bringing joy, and healing, and transformation. And, above all, He reminded me that He is sovereign, in control, ancient, unshaken by my temporary setback, unimpressed by my temporary gains, and unchanging in His devotion to creating the image of His Son in me.