Some things are vivid memories, etched in my mind. My first car, for example. I was two and a half years old and got a red convertible that I peddled around our apartment. I remember that. Or my 12th birthday celebrated in India when my grandfather arranged for an elephant (yes a real elephant!) to come to the house and give me and my cousins a ride. Who could forget that? Or my first kiss? Enough said. Or the day I gave my life to Christ. Powerful. Or my wedding day and the birth of each of my children. Like yesterday!
Some things are just memorable.
Why do we remember some things so well, while other memories fade?
In an recent article I read, researchers suggest it could be that good memories persist longer than bad, thereby “helping to keep the human race happy and resilient”. Interesting thought, eh?
Psychologists say that “holding onto our good memories and leaving the bad ones behind helps us to deal with unpleasant situations and retain a positive outlook on life”.
The idea of negative memories fading faster than positive ones was first proposed some 80 years ago. Back in the 1930s, psychologists collected recollections about life events like people's holidays - marking them as pleasant or unpleasant. Weeks later an unannounced request came from the researchers to recall their memories.
Of the unpleasant experiences nearly 60% were forgotten but only 42% of the pleasant memories had faded.
Maybe you can relate. For example after a holiday we might reminisce about the good food, the warm sunshine and the people we met but forget about the terrible flight getting there.
So what of it?
During this season of Lent many of us have decided to undertake 40 Acts of Generosity. You can go to the website 40acts.org and sign up, it’s certainly not too late.
My challenge to you is two fold.
The first is to create a memory! Create a positive memory, because they are the ones that stick. Why not create a positive memory for that person that is “oh-so-difficult-to-love”? Check out Mike Gordon’s message from last week if you missed it.
The second part of the challenge is to remember. Remember God’s faithfulness to you. It is in the remembering that we find the encouragement to trust Him today (regardless of what’s going on) and trust Him with our tomorrows.
Have you heard this?
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. —Oatman
Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past strengthens us for the future.
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Ps. 103:1-2).
Join us this Sunday as we begin a new four week series. Each week, up to and including Easter Sunday, we will look at an "I AM" statement that Jesus makes in the gospel of John. In the weeks leading up to the holiest of days, let's look at who Jesus says He is.
Sure you can hear the message online but you will want to be here each week during this series, and don't forget to invite a friend.