THIS INK WITH Pen and Brush is a sketch of our son’s cabin on Long Lake near Aitken, Minnesota. The photo reference was taken as it appeared when he first acquired it. We added a full kitchen and a 500 sq. foot wrap around deck with a sliding door off this back wall. Marj and I spent two or three weeks there each Summers for about ten years.
I use it for today’s Thought— ‘Remember’. Dozens of photos remind me of those years: pontoon boat rides, bonfires, smores, laughs, good food and family. I enjoyed each construction project. The last one was a tree house. Admittedly, falling off the ladder and breaking my back was not so much fun, but is part of the full tapestry called experience!
MY CURRENT READING plus two events influenced today’s Thought: ‘Remember’. First: Last Saturday I participated in the Memorial Service for a dear lady who was a member of the congregation I had the privilege of Pastoring for 22+ years, until my retirement in 2006. Second: In just over two weeks—Monday, May 31—our nation celebrates ‘Memorial Day’. In both cases “Memorial” carries the idea of ‘in memory’ or ‘Remember’. I’ve been contemplating the word. We often use it, but what do we actually mean?
What is Memory?
‘MEMORY’ AS [A VERB]: It has, or is able to bring into one’s mind, an awareness of (someone or something that one has seen, known, or experienced in the past). Some common synonyms are recall, recollect, remind, and reminisce. While all these words mean “to bring an image or idea from the past into the mind, “Remember” implies a keeping in memory that may be effortless or unwilled. Reminisce is a dreamy way of saying “remember the past”. If you’re swapping old stories with friends and remembering all the silly things you used to do, then you’re reminiscing. Reminiscing is all about happy recollections and thinking back to stories from the past. You may ask, “So, what’s the point? Is it just having fun remembering fun stuff from my past? If so, then I’m in deep trouble. My ‘Memory” has stuff that was definitely not fun. In fact, I would like to forget it!”
“So, What Is the Point?
GOOD QUESTION. I believe your Memory is a gift from God. It is part of how he made you. Why? Think about it. In creation we experience life in sequential chronological ways: past, present and future. Every time we experience a sunrise we think in terms of yesterday, today and tomorrow. In our physical development we think of a human life first beginning totally dependent on others, then becoming independent and, ideally, moving on to interdependence. Without ‘Memory’ none of this would work.
As dependents, we develop independence as those responsible for our development ‘Remember’ what and how to enable us. Our growth into interdependence depends heavily on our ‘Memory’ and application of what we have been taught through words and deeds. And Interdependence provides opportunity for us to use our ‘Memory’ of God’s Love in the community of Jesus followers, and beyond.
Can I Facilitate the Process?
‘MEMORY’ DOESEN’T materialize from thin air. It’s limited to what has been seen, known, or experienced in the past. Nearly anything else is imagination. Some of this we have little or no control over. Very often though, we do make choices that affect what we choose to see, know or experience. Either way (with or without our choosing) they become deposits in our ‘Memory’ bank. For better or worse they become tools affecting our present and future growth into the person we are becoming. God’s best for us, means making the better choices for where we choose to invest our time and attention. How can I best choose to make positive ‘Memories’?
Truth to Consider From…
…The Apostle Paul
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 They become positive deposits into our ‘Memory’ bank.
…The Apostle Peter
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have… And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things. 2 Pet 1:12-15
…The Lord Jesus
And he [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Acts 22:19
Make Memory Bank Deposits with your best Choices!
“Well done good and faithful servant.” Matthew 25:21