THE RECTOR WRITES
I have lost my memory and it is starting to get quite serious.
As I write this – one of my external hard drives has failed. That is (for those who don’t use computers) I am unable to access a lot of material from the past few years.
I won’t go into detail but I thought things were being backed up, and it is the back up drive that has failed, but with difficult results. There’s all kind of material on there. Family photographs, documents, and years’ worth of sermons. What if no one ever hears them again? (I don’t really re-use sermons – they usually need to be fresh) I have learnt an important lesson the hard (drive) way!
Anyway, it has had me thinking about memories and how we remember things.
Olivia Harron, for example, seems to have inherited some of my hoarding tendencies. I don’t like throwing things away, but Olivia has manifested this in a determination to collect up stones from everywhere we go. She is obviously a biblical literalist and has taken the verse “There is a time to scatter stones….. And a time to gather them” (Ecclesiastes 3) as a kind of commandment.
Trips to the beach inevitably mean a sandy bucket full of stones in the back of the car or the boot – and we daren’t get rid of them – and she has a really good memory! As I write this for the Messenger, we‘re just about to head off on holiday and we‘re looking forward to gathering some new memories, and probably some new stones….
Most people remember special times in life through things like photographs, videos, scrap books, but we can be very selective. We tend to hold on to the best bits, the edited highlights package. It’s nice to be able to look back on good times, especially after a traumatic experience like a bereavement or a time of sickness. However, we often learn important lessons even in the hard times – and we certainly need to remember those lessons which will have great value in themselves.
The Bible has plenty to say about remembering.
It tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us to bring to mind the teaching of Christ. Jesus gives this reassurance to his apostles – “The advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I said to you.”
(John 14:26- NIV)
I hope your summer has held many good memories – and that you will continue to recall God’s goodness and faithfulness even if life has been hard in recent months. Looking forward to a memorable Autumn season for our church family.
Yours in Christ Gareth