In making new memories, we live more deeply than in reliving the old

Memories have the potential to have a great hold on us. The gift that they present can become — like anything else — something so improperly used that it becomes a burden to us rather than a blessing.

I make a mistake when I try to relive memories — to enliven my seemingly too-simple moments with pleasures connected to things that I can’t have right now. I train myself to believe that people, things and situations bring pleasure and not the God who is sovereign over the particulars of each that I am connected to.

Memories serve us not for the purpose of passing time, but for teaching us to make the most of our time. They are treasures that contain wisdom that is often more valuable than the experiences in which they’ve been wrapped. We need to look back, looking not for a refuge where we might escape the place we are in now, but a foundation of wisdom that will help us accept and take action in the place we are in now.

Treating memory-dwelling as our escape limits our ability to treat Christ as our hearts true haven. We miss His grace in the moment because we make more of the grace we knew in former moments. We don’t ask Him to do more with us today because we can’t accept where we are or have faith in where He’s taking us.

The problem is that our past can’t give us anything but stale snapshots of experience and warmed over emotions that don’t fit quite right in our hearts anymore. Our present is a problem too because it cannot teach us the place our past and our future can occupy. We cannot even look at the future, because we don’t yet know how much we can call “ours.” The only help we can find is in One who encompasses our past, present and future and yet is greater still. He tells us who we are in all these mini-segments of reality and He tells us more: He tells us who He is in these mini segments of reality. That is really all we need.

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