The Past Is Full of Good Memories

(I realize this is an anniversary of 9/11 and there are many memories of this day that are from a stressful time. Please understand that I’m writing to think about the past as a whole, and not as a part of a single day.)

Have you ever simply thought about your past?

Gurley Kids Christmas 1960 or so
Circa 1961

I realize it’s not perfect, and there are plenty of dark memories, but all in all I find that I truly enjoy the memory of my past.

Chatting with mom the other day I realized that there are some times that I have absolutely no memories of – not good, bad or indifferent. Just … nothing!

For example, a few years ago I could recite all my grade school teachers. Today, they do not flow from my memory banks with fluidity. I truly have to think through the list in order for a few names to show up… Nor do I have any memories of Sunday School until I was about 11 or so. Why? Not sure…

Red Rubber KnifeBut I remember the good times of those years! Bikes, BB Guns, Swimming, Camping, Woods, The Park, My Red Rubber Knife, Cub Scouts, Kentucky, Grandparents, Family, Cousins, Friends, NASA…

It’s like my Bible. I remember a first Bible. Red cover and red letter edition. It wore out pretty quickly, but I enjoyed the concept of this bible being with me from early years. I know we memorized scripture, and along with my youngest brother being able to quote all 66 books of the Bible in front of the church at the age of 4 (!), there were some favored “short” verses we liked to quote when called upon…

  • Remember Lot’s wife. (Luke 17:32 NKJV)
  • Jesus wept. (John 11:35 NKJV)

But later on, I remember people being able to quote entire chapters and books and testaments from scripture!

Do you remember church when you were young? I remember enjoying the floor (cooler), and looking through mom’s study bible and enjoying all the pictures. From those days I have memories of special events and camps, but most of my memories revolve around music. We would sing and harmonize in the car while traveling, and my dad had a good solo singing voice, so I guess it’s only natural to remember things about music….

For example, I remember a pastor from my youth who used to sing this song. I’ve always thought of it as his signature song because I heard it so much from him. His name escapes me at this moment (I think R.E. Johnson), but the song made a huge impact on my life, so much so that I can still remember these words some 50 years later.

Across the Bridge
(Verse 1)
I have lived a life of sin, in this world I’m living in.
I’ve done forbidden things I shouldn’t do.
I asked a beggar along the way,
If he could tell me where to stay.
Where I could find real happiness and love that’s true.

(Chorus)
Across the bridge, there’ll be no sorrow.
Across the bridge, there’ll be no pain.
The sun’s gonna shine across the river.
And we’ll never be unhappy again.

(Verse 2)
Follow the footsteps of the King, ‘til you hear sweet voices ring.
They’ll be singing out the glory of the Lamb.
The river of Jordan will be near,
The sound of trumpets you will hear.
You’ll behold the most precious face ever known to man.

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