Comparative Memory

Yesterday, I think it was yesterday…

memory-002I spent a few moments comparing the present, to a past memory. I realized that anything present compared to the past always has the potential to have faulty results.

Why? The present provides fresh and real actionable intel (sort of sounds military?), along with cognitive relationship. Whereas the past is only remembered as good as the memory stored from as far back as the time it happened. Right?

I remember as a kid playing hard outside all day long while growing up in Harris County, Texas (Baytown, Deer Park, Seabrook, Channelview). And yes, the heat and humidity was just as hot and muggy then as it is now, only I’m unable to even stand the idea of walking outside in that kind of weather today! As a kid, we had an attic fan, and a window A/C unit that we did not use day in, day out.

If it was hot outside, it was probably hot inside. Today, we live in the comfort of a heat pump, year round. It controls our living experience, and keeps the house safer because we never unlock and open the windows!

1968-dodge-pickupAs kids I remember “knowing” it was hot and humid, but that did not stop us from finding something to do. Tromping through the woods, drainage ditches, or around the lakes and ponds when we had them. Bikes everywhere, and practically all the time. I never remember asking for a ride unless the weather was bad. Back yard sports. And if it wasn’t raining too bad, the back of the truck was the best place to ride and I don’t even remember looking for shade! Did I look for shade? Probably. But my memory is faulty enough to not recall, so I cannot accurately compare today to my yesterday memories.

Today, I burn so easily I am a shade hopper…
Just ask anyone who was in Israel with me back in 2013!

The psalmist spoke often of remembering things and times of the past.  His personal past, and times long before he was alive to know the past. So, his past was something he personally experienced, and like us, there is a past that only comes from those who write the history books, or the personal testimonies of those who experienced some part of the past.

Revisionist want to re-write the past and put it into context of today’s viewpoint and knowledge. To them, history can only be understood when put in the light of how we think about a subject today. Change the intention of what the founding father’s idea of life was over 250 years ago, and put their thought into what we are going through today. Even if, in my view of their lives back then, they could not even comprehend what we are facing today!

My view of the past is often tainted with my perspective of the present. Those idyllic summer days, when remembered with a faulty perspective of today, were actually filled with angst, heartaches, and tempers. Of course, alongside them were sweet moments that are easily recalled like that old song trying to get started in my brain as my grandmother would sing, “Precious memories. How they linger. How they ever flood my soul. In the stillness of the midnight, precious sacred scenes unfold…” I hear her voice right now…though she’s been gone for nearly a quarter of a century.

But there is a portion of memory that I look forward to never remembering again. Maybe it’s only a God thing, but wouldn’t you like to never remember the bad things you said and did? The writer of Hebrews describes God’s memory as working like this.

But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:15-18 NKJV)

Our past. The sins, lawless deeds, or, as the the KJV speaks, our iniquities. He remembers them no more. Essentially, what has been forgiven, will never be remembered. By God.

Let’s keep the past in proper perspective… Some do not want to go fishing in the pond of old. It’s stagnant and full of washed away memories.

Just now, an old song came to mind as I thought about our comparative memory…

“I Remember When My Burdens Rolled Away”
Minnie Steele, 1908

I remember when my burdens rolled away;
I had carried them for years, night and day.
When I sought the blessed Lord,
And I took Him at His word,
Then at once all my burdens rolled away.
Rolled away, rolled away,
I am happy since my burdens rolled away.
Rolled away, rolled away,
I am happy since my burdens rolled away.
I remember when my burdens rolled away;
That I feared would never leave, night or day.
Jesus showed to me the loss,
So I left them at the cross;
I was glad when my burdens rolled away.
I remember when my burdens rolled away,
That had hindered me for years, night and day.
As I sought the throne of grace,
Just a glimpse of Jesus’ face,
And I knew that my burdens could not stay.
I am singing since my burdens rolled away;
There’s a song within my heart night and day.
I am living for my King,
And with joy I shout and sing:
“Hallelujah, all my burdens rolled away!”

2 thoughts on “Comparative Memory

  1. No regrets for the past, thankful for today, and blank space on calendar for tomorrow! I’m not a history buff and rarely start a sentence with “back in the day—”
    Love the Serenity prayer. Happy to be part of a large family trusting God to supply our needs, guide our steps and remind us daily how blessed we are!! You’re part of that family– Luv U! Aunt Carol

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