Memories


What do those stones mean to you?Memories are funny things.

Some are wonderful, while others are so horrid we’d rather forget them, but can’t.

A smell, a tune, or a taste can trigger a memory. Sometimes we remember an incident so insignificant, we don’t even know why it came to mind.

Then there are the “memories” that may not be ours at all. For years, I thought–ok, I still think–I remembered the day when my parents told my siblings and me that we were moving from Hopkinsville, Kentucky to Wichita, Kansas. But a few years ago, I mentioned that event to my parents, who told me I was only six months old at the time. In my mind, I can still see the house we lived in then, and imagine my father’s gravity as he delivered this news. Whether we children were upset to be leaving or happy to go, I don’t know. But I acknowledge now that a six-month-old baby could hardly comprehend what was happening. And yet, I still have that picture in my head.

Facebook capitalizes on our penchant for remembering by showing us posts and events from previous years–even “friendiversaries”–the anniversary of when we became friends with someone. Mostly, that’s an artificial date, since the real friendship could have started years earlier. I guess it’s Facebook’s way of proving its own significance in our lives.

Photos help us capture our memories, but in this age of digital storage, how often do we look at those pictures?

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were told to build stone pillars of remembrance “that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them” (Joshua 4:6-7, ESV).

Occasionally it’s fun to take a trip “down memory lane,” and share with our family or friends some funny stories or happy memories. But a few significant events ought to be commemorated with “stones of remembrance” for future generations or as a frequent reminder of God’s faithfulness. For you, it might be the place you met your future spouse, the day your child was born–or the moment you invited Christ into your life. If you haven’t already done so, find a way to memorialize those events and pass the joyous memories on to others.

What “stones of remembrance” have you built?