Making a Memory

Here I Go Again (EP)
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went past the field of a sluggard,
    past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
thorns had come up everywhere,
    the ground was covered with weeds,
    and the stone wall was in ruins.
I applied my heart to what I observed
    and learned a lesson from what I saw:
A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
    and scarcity like an armed man.
Proverbs 24:30-34 (NIV)

I’m amazed at how our minds and memories work. If I’m listening to the radio and hear the Hollies‘  Long, Cool Woman in a Black Dress I am suddenly transported to Camp Idlewood, Rainy Lake, Minnesota where my family vacationed the first two weeks of August every year. I’m in Cabin #3 with my sister along with our friends Matt, Piper John, and Mark. The song is playing from an 8-track tape. Mark is being a clown and making everyone laugh as we try to sing the lead singer’s “Whoo!” at the right place in the instrumental bridge. It’s raining outside. I can picture it like it’s happening right now.

You find yourself in a funk and don’t know why. Then you remember something sad and depressing that long ago happened at this same time of the year. Your conscious mind had forgotten but your senses remember.

When I read the verses above I was suddenly talking to my friend Spike. It was the year between my freshman and sophomore year in college. Spike and I hung out a lot that summer, and one day he talked about these verses which he’d recently read. They made an impression on him and he quoted the last part of it from memory. That, in turn, made an impression on me. Thirty years later I read the verses and think of Spike. I think of the example of hard work he’s been to me in his academic pursuits and his successful career as a university professor.

We are making memories for ourselves, but more importantly for others. They can be positive memories or negative ones. The memories we create for others can be either healing or destructive. We choose through our thoughts, words, actions and relationships. How cool to imagine that someone might read a verse from God’s message and have a fond memory of me. Those are the kinds of memorable impressions I want to make for others.

Today, I want to live in such a way that it will be a pleasant memory for myself and others.

 

[An index of all Tom’s chapter-a-day posts covering every book and chapter]

4 thoughts on “Making a Memory”

  1. May I quote your last line to inspire my students? What a powerful intention to set for the day and everyday! Now when I think of living to create lasting pleasant impressions, I will remember you!

  2. I used to love The Hollies. My favourite is probably ‘I Can’t Tell the Bottom From the Top.’ I have the 45 in my loft somewhere. Not that I can play it as I don’t have a record player, but I do have a CD of The Hollies best tracks. Thank you for the reminder that memories are so important – the memories we have, and the memories we leave.

  3. 16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.
    But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.

    I’m encouraged by this today. I’m pretty sure I’ve tripped a few times already in life, but indeed my faith is the primary thing that encourages and keeps me going. When trials present, they can suck the life and breath right out of us. You feel like you are drowning and can’t get that breath. It’s times like this where crying out to God is the only lifeline. I’ve felt it. Thank you Jesus for providing that comfort.

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