“We were taught to take care of what we possessed, then pass it down to the young, hoping they would cherish what had meaning. Youth, however, are accustomed to discarding one possession for another that might look the same but possess something unseen: more memory.” _Billy Graham, Nearing Home
Reverend Graham’s remark got me thinking…
Our memories can be a good diagnostic tool.
Looking back over my life I have had a few great leaders that had a great impact on my life as examples and mentors.
Two especially come to mind. Both were great successes but there was an important difference. One would always talk about old memories when pulling out illustrations to demonstrate what he was talking about. Matter of fact it was predictable – I could count on hearing the same stories over and over.
The other, Dr. Lamar Vest, also has a very impressive resume. But there is a big difference when I call him to seek advice and input. When he pulls out illustrations to demonstrate something he is teaching me his illustrations are often very current.
Dr. Vest, now in 80’s, is amazing. Every time I speak to him he tells me of his latest project or mission that he’s working on. He’s leading, serving, speaking, traveling. He’s active, involved, engaged, and contributing somewhere.
In other words, Dr. Vest is constantly making new memories.
And that speaks louder to me than all the success stories (old and new) that he could share.
Of course our old memories can be very precious to us and should be treasured. But if old memories are all we have that’s not a good sign. It shows that we may be becoming obsolete and irrelevant.
Then there’s the quality of our memories. If our memories are mostly “Facebook” memories – you know, those pictures and posts of us on vacation or hanging out with family and friends or making cupcakes or fishing (“me-memories”) – instead of memories of us serving, adding value, making a difference, then that’s a bad sign as well.
Our bodies and brains are not like computers. We can’t trade them in for a new model that runs faster and has more memory capacity (at least not in this life), but that’s okay. As long as God has given us breath, we still have an amazing memory capacity. Every day is an opportunity to create new memories.
Memories that matter.
Memories that contribute.
Memories that remind us that we mattered and made a difference.
The ONE THING today: Enough of this day dreaming about the good old days. No need to keep repeating the same old oft-repeated stories from days of yore.
You’re still here–alive and kicking!
That means tomorrow you can be talking about the new memories you created today. But it takes getting up and doing something worth remembering.