Memories. Where do you get yours?

Awakening from the Big Sleep

I write this blog as a confession to you today.  If you read this blog at all you can see the swing in my emotion and the method in which my mind works.  I get down, I get up, I look forward, and I reflect back.  I try to honor Him and Glorify my Lord in what I do.  I also fall woefully short all too often.

But…  I don’t ever allow this to become cyclical or some sort of pattern.  I’m too passionate for that.  On some level maybe that same emotion that shifts and changes, translates into passion that won’t allow me to get stuck in a rut.  …And maybe I just haven’t experienced my rut yet.  Who knows.  But thus far, I’ve been able to resist it.  I’m not talking about something specific for me and me alone.  You can apply the concept of the ‘rut’ to anything in your life and see where I’m coming from.

I noticed the other day that I had a tremendous number of ‘memories’ popping up on facebook.  If you have an account and your settings are configured to see them, facebook pops up things you did on that day years prior.  It’s akin to some sort of weird anniversary thing in all reality, but I can see how it attracts people.  You see a picture that sparks a memory, or read about a function you attended with friends, or search back in memory bank the holiday you enjoyed with family, all as a result of facebook’s reminders.  Sounds innocent enough right?

I believe it can be just that simple.  But, it rarely is.  I noticed all the things I was doing so many years ago with friends – photos, posts, check-ins, and functions.  I then compared yesteryear with the memories I’m making now, and they don’t include the same people or the same things.  I found that profoundly saddening for the longest time.  Sure, I’m still buddies with lots of them, but it was as if I looked back and noticed that I was spending daily time with wifey, and this person, and that person, and recently I hadn’t done much of that at all.  …At least not how I had done it in the past.

Reflection

This revelation caused me to dissect exactly what was different.  There was no proverbial smoking gun.  Self examination isn’t an exact science, and I’m only a doctor in my own mind.  …And I rarely do that right.  Nope, I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but I was able to identify several things that were factors.

My kids were smaller and easier to keep contained back then.  …Or they weren’t born yet.  When you have no kids or they are little and sleep half the time, things are more simple.  When they bigger, more energetic, involved in many activities, and you’re able to put more miles on your car shuttling them around than a DC taxi, you know you’re busier.

I wasn’t as involved in church then.  I didn’t have a Sunday “regular” spot, so we traveled 3hrs to our home town to attend occasionally.  That’s a bigger priority now that we’ve found a church and congregation that fit like a glove.

My friends hadn’t experienced any significant life trauma yet.  Mira hadn’t fallen ill with cancer.  Then there is the period through the time she was ill.  We put our lives on hold to help our friends, lend aid, and just spend time with them, period.  That’s where we wanted to be and the place we were needed.

There were times of great experience and the places I found myself daily by virtue of the job I held at the time.  I was traveling all over the place and learned really interesting things, saw sights, and met people.  There was a culmination of work, play, and worship that was radically different in some aspects when you compare the ‘back then’ with the ‘now’ of it all.

Truth and Fact

I remember vividly the first time I ever truly found myself able to not only grasp, but demonstrate for others the difference between truth and fact.  I was engaged in a relatively unhealthy debate with a guy I had some, but not a lot of respect for.  He argued truth and fact were the same thing depending on relativity.  #rolleyes  I grabbed a glass of water from where he was sitting, dipped my fingers in the water, and flicked the droplets from my fingers onto his face.  I said to him, “The fact is, you’re wet.  The truth is, that sucks.”  Thankfully we both laughed and those around us broke into laughter and applause.

So herein lies the rub.  What am I to do with these memories and the feeling of light remorse over them not being duplicated now?  I don’t see myself doing today or the future, what I used to do.  It’s clearly right in front of me.  Facebook was kind enough to show me that I used to do this, and that, but I don’t as often, or I do it differently, and so on.  Maybe I should back and up and realize remorse isn’t what I should be experiencing.  I think I’ve been looking at this through the wrong end of the telescope.  What I did, I did.  The past is the past.  There were many great memories included in that reflection, but that doesn’t suppose new ones cannot be created.  Maybe all new experiences are just waiting to be made with those people I’ve held so dear over the years.  Undoubtedly they’ll be new friends and family too.

I should bring this to understanding in the proper context, and I think I was failing to do so before.  If I go back to, “The fact is, you’re wet.  The truth is, that sucks.” and apply it, what am I really saying?  The fact is those are memories.  The truth is they are beautiful, and painful, and fresh, and old, and no person can alter them.  Included in those memories were things as vital as truth, honor, fidelity, love, and justice.

I was so worried about what things were then and how they weren’t now, that I walked right past the most important part.  They led me to where I am today with Him.  These memories shaped my life and those around me.  My family will forever be different by virtue of our experiences, and more over how we dealt with those experiences.  I was kind of sad actually, because I was worried about what experiences my wife and kids would have in front of us, when I didn’t stop to remember how much more rich those experiences will be because I know Him better now.

This is an opportunity for the proper use of the word ‘relative’ for a change.  Your life is better with Him relative to your life without Him.  Is it not?  Just think how much more your life experiences will be worth, no matter what they are, when you do so with Almighty God?

Deuteronomy 31:6 – Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Light.  Salt.  Seek it and be it.

1 thought on “Memories. Where do you get yours?

  1. Michael, I loved reading your blog here today. I was thinking the same thing you were before you reached your point at the end. In many ways for me, before making this job/career change to full time church employee, I felt as though all the things I was doing were a bit disjointed and unconnected in ways. In the past couple of years now I have become much more vividly aware of how God is using ALL the memories and experiences of my past in my present “walking out of my faith”. It’s amazing, there have been a couple of moments where I can sense, without a doubt, God was preparing me for this moment, ALL ALONG! God is continuing to shape and mold us if we allow Him to. I had to let go of things that were NOT following God and were dragging me in the wrong direction, which was also why things felt disconnected and disjointed, (imagine that), *sarcastic* . I’m still working on that, everyday!

    Love you, Cuz
    Thanks for sharing

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