We have little sympathy for the psychology expressed in the various “Back To” movements among Christians today. Our direction is not back, but forward. Few acts are as futile as sitting down and singing “Backward, turn backward, O Time, in thy flight.” We cannot turn the clock back. We cannot bring back better days. And it is not necessary or desirable that we should.
If by means of some fantastic “time machine” one of us were permitted to go backward and visit some favorite period of the past, he would in all probability find the experience extremely disappointing. He would find himself a kind of anachronism, wholly out of place and thoroughly unhappy. To each one it is given to occupy his own spot in history. He must, like David, do the will of God by serving his own generation. It is in his own day that he must meet God in satisfying encounter. It is in his today, not in some pensive yesterday, that he must explore the riches of divine grace, do his allotted work and win his crown.
Psychologists attribute certain abnormal mental conditions to an unconscious desire to escape the responsibilities of adult life by returning to the quiet and security of the prenatal state. Our habit of trying to recapture the spiritual glow of some better time by going backward creates a suspicion that we have lost the will to fight and are retiring to a safer spot behind the lines where we can sit down in peace to dream of armies defeated and battles won.