Gathering Gratitude ~ Managing Memory

“We don’t even have pictures; just memories to hold.” — Toad the Wet Sprocket

Greetings Dear Reader,

There is a song lyric to one of my favorite Christmas songs. The song is listed in the back of The Twelve Tales of Christmas. I do not have a recording of it to share with you, though I am working on that. The line is, “Memories both heal and haunt me.”

We all have those memories that surface unbidden that haunt us. They tear at us and sometimes bring tears. Some try to reignite old anger. Others attempt to steal joy and peace. I find that when I dwell on them, they take on more power and do more damage. Giving them life is giving the past lease on the present. We destroy good times reliving the bad.

The other memories are the good ones. We dwell on joy and glory from the past, reveling in the times that brought us mirth, victory, and the like. These are positive unless they become our focus on the journey. I know that at times I try to recreate good situations from the past and place unrealistic expectations on the present. As with bad memories, it comes down to proper management.

Our memories must be managed to give them their proper place and honor. They must be kept to heed their warnings and live their lessons. When the memories try to steal our focus on Christ in the moment, they are all doing bad whether the memories are good or ill. In those instances is where bringing my thoughts into captivity is crucial to my journey.

One of the ways to manage memory is to gather gratitude from both the evil and good things we recall. The memories all hold lessons of love, grace, mercy, and kindness. The presence of Christ is there in every moment if we look for him. What I must do is make sure that when memories arise for good or ill, I practice gathering gratitude for what they have to teach me. Then, I move on, thankful for the joy or reminder of lessons learned.

I think many of our ills arise because we do not manage memory by gathering gratitude from the past, Dear Reader. The journey is difficult enough without carrying the burden of bad memories and the weight of overloading good ones. As this thinking puts a physical journey in my immediate future, I ponder all the thinking I do and how it shapes my heart and attitudes. It causes me to desire that journey over and over. I will speak more of that later in the week.

Walk on the Ocean — Toad the Wet Sprocket

We spotted the ocean at the head of the trail
Where are we going, so far away?
And somebody told me that this is the place
Where everything’s better, everything’s safe

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

And half an hour later we packed up our things
We said we’d send letters and all those little things
And they knew we were lying but they smiled just the same
It seemed they’d already forgotten we’d came

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

Now we’re back at the homestead
Where the air makes you choke
And the people don’t know you
And trust is a joke

We don’t even have pictures
Just memories to hold
That grow sweeter each season
As we slowly grow old

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, “That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Every human story is part of the great story that leads to the Father getting everything back to Good.
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“We don’t even have pictures; just memories to hold.” — Toad the Wet Sprocket

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