try not to forget

I had a great discussion recently with a couple of friends.  We were talking about the thoughts and memories that plague our minds that stem from past traumatic and negative events.  These events are often as a result of choices we've made that lead to pain or some sort of trial.  As we talked, we shared a common frustration that comes when long forgotten memories rear their head at inopportune times.  There are countless pursuits to rid one's self of these memories, to compartmentalize the thoughts and isolate them, or manipulate them into the start of a positive learning experience.

I've often pleaded with God to take away these thoughts and memories of past events--many times to no avail.  I've meditated on the scripture that says "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. 2 Cor 10:4-6."  But, many times I've become disillusioned to the proper meaning of Paul's words in the Bible--only to become further discouraged with the musings of my brain.  (Thankfully, I know what this means now.)

Most recently I've taken a different attitude towards these, at times, nightmarish thoughts.  What if there were a purpose to NOT having them vanquished from my mind?  I say, there is a purpose.  The hardest lessons of life are learned in the painful, dark night of the soul episodes we experience.  Of course, there are many tragic things that happen to us that are out of our control; however, there are many more painful things we experience that are a result of our own poor choices or miscalculations.  These are the things we shouldn't be so quick to forget.

Just as many cultures and nations throughout time have made memorials and monuments that remember tragic wars and their heroes included within, we too should create milestones and markers in our own lives that signify the 'big rock's that were moved in our life.  All too often we make the same mistake or choice when we find ourselves in recurring life situations.  It would benefit us greatly if we were reminded where we have come from and we were careful not to return there so easily.

These painful memories of tragedy and trauma offer potent reminders to maintain a course of reconciliation, redemption, renewal, and rebirth.  I once asked God for a 'spiritual lobotomy' -- some sort of magical, supernatural selective erasure of my mental past.  It would have saved me emotional pain at the time, yet it also would have deprived me of emotional healing and a timeless warning to avoid the mistakes of my own history.

Isaiah 43:19  
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.


1 comment:

  1. old wineskins and unshrunk cloth.