Buildings, dwellings, schools, churches, athletic fields may be destroyed, but the memories remain forever. The same thing may happen with jobs, courtships, marriages, families – even nations, teams, events, mountains and just about anything else you may remember.
Memory is associated with memorabilia, memorials, birthdays, anniversaries. These are to preserve a part of our experiences of the past. Photographs, movies, recordings and books become an important part of what we have experienced.
A phone call from a distraught friend concerned things that had been destroyed. Drive or walk through any area where you may have lived 50 years ago or less and you will be shocked by all the changes. The old school house is gone, the church building in which you first heard about the Bible and the church is gone, the hospital where you were born was demolished as well as the stores where you once shopped. Streets have changed; the baseball field is now a big parking lot.
The memories linger stronger and have become more important with each passing year. I have noticed in talking with those who played on athletic teams the same years I did how much better we have become, as we grow older. We often remember things the way we really wanted them to be.
Shakespeare called memory “The warder of the brain.” We may call it the caretaker, watchman, guard or custodian and preserver of the brain. Centuries ago Cicero said, “Memory is the receptacle and sheath of all knowledge.” A child put it this way, “My memory is the thing I forget with.”
My wife of many happy years, my forever-beautiful Kitty, reminded me as I concluded one of my inspiring “recollecting recitals”, “All you talk about is the past.” Here is where my wisdom and brilliance went into overdrive and my mouth was moving before my brain was fully engaged. My reply went something like this: “There is no need to remember the present because it is now here. I am certainly not capable of remembering the future. The only thing I have to remember is the past.
There are, of course, words, experiences, illnesses, deaths and a thousand other things most of us would like to forget, but memory will not let us do that. Be thankful for your memory. It may be the strongest of all the allies you have when facing certain enemies.
An old Gospel song from my earliest days in Sunday School and church services was called, “Precious Memories” by J. B. F. Wright. The chorus has these words, “Precious memories, how they linger, How they ever flood my soul” and continues with more about the priceless and precious memories we all have.
Solomon in his wisdom spoke concerning memory and blessings in this manner: “Blessings are on the head of the righteous … The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot” (Proverbs 10:6-7).
Grandparents, parents, sons, daughters, uncles, aunts, brothers and sisters, classmates, friends and neighbors inspire pleasant memories. At this moment, you may be thinking of those who have blessed your life with pleasant memories. I would guess all of us at sometime have painful memories. I think of the deaths of uncles, parents, grandparents, aunts, a sister, two brothers–in-law, sister-in-law and cousins.
Cold days and long dark evenings in the wintertime bring on many memories. Both pleasant and painful.
St. Paul, writing a letter to young Timothy said, “When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5). Think on these things.
© 2013 Wm. C. Ellis
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