I’m amazed at what I remember and what I forget. How can I forget where my car keys are? (Especially when I have not been at this location for ten minutes). How can I forget someone’s name who I just met moments ago? How can I forget to pick up the very item that I went to the grocery store for in the first place? How can I forget to tell Charlotte something that is very important?
Then there are the things that I remember. Why do I remember some of these things? Why do I remember some things with such detail and color even though I was very young?
- I remember a moment in high school when our principal and football coach said something to me that was very kind and affirming. How many times have I thought about that through the years?
- I remember a moment as a small child when I felt humiliated by a man who I knew very well. For some reason, I can remember his teasing.
- I remember a time in sixth grade when I felt very much on the outside looking in. I began to learn that this could be a very tough time of life.
- I remember a man at our church who always spoke to me by name every Sunday morning.
- I remember a businessman who taught our college class. In my memory, there is one particular occasion on a Sunday morning, when the class was being dismissed and he approached me and made some encouraging remarks. It was a critical time.
- I remember a teacher who once looked at something I wrote (which involved sharing thoughts/feelings). He accused me of being insincere.
I have no idea why I remember some of these things. I just know that I still remember them. I suspect that at least some of them have probably impacted me in some way that may go fairly deep. These early experiences and others like them have to some degree impacted who I am.
What gives me great hope is that Jesus is much more powerful than any of my experiences in life. The Holy Spirit working in my life has the capacity to create real change. I don’t have to be stuck, just reacting to what someone did or said years ago. What is important though is to recognize some of those influences and allow the gospel to shape and override these.