20 06 2008

I’ve had a blog post ruminating in my head for a couple of weeks now, but thanks to a loss of the hard drive in my trusty mac, it’s started to seep out.

And that’s what the post is about–memory.


I’ve never realized how much we take our memory for granted.  People keep track of their memories in many different ways.  Some scrapbook.  Some put pictures in albums.  Some blog.  Some journal.  Some try to keep a mental file of all the events in their lives, with certain stimuli enough to set them off on “a trip down memory lane.”  There was a commercial recently about a deodorant or something that had a line like, “Scent is the strongest sense linked to memory.”  The gist of the ad was that by smelling the freshness of their deodorant, it could take you back to a time in your life where a pleasant (or not so pleasant) memory awaited.

I’m not certain that scent is the strongest sense tied to memory, but it is a valid argument.  Often my memory is triggered by a sound, a noise, a voice, thereby equating hearing with my memory.  It might be a particular picture, or color, maybe even a notice of a change in otherwise routine happenings that cues a memory into my playlist.

Where am I going with this?

A lot of you might know that my father-in-law recently suffered a stroke overnight when he, my mother-in-law, and my mom came for a weekend visit.  

A stroke is a terrible thing.  And thankfully, in his situation, it was not as damaging as it could have been.  But still, he went to sleep one night, woke up the next morning, without the ability to put intelligible words together.  His understanding of what you asked him was working fine.  He just couldn’t spit the words back out to you in any fashion that made any logical sense.  Some words would be a centimeter off (“Boy, this is a medicine (mess).”)  Test results showed that he had had at least one mini-stroke before, that either he or anyone around him had not noticed.  The good news is he’s in speech and occupational therapy to work through some of the lingering side effects of the stroke, and is improving daily.

The question that’s been circling my head is simply: How often do we experience spiritual strokes and not even notice it?  As summer kicks into full gear, with camps and vacation Bible schools, and mission trips, and week-long getaways to water parks and destination unknown outings, what are we forgetting?

It’s so easy to become cynical.  It’s so easy to overlook the burning bushes in our lives where God is screaming out to us–STOP.  LOOK.  LISTEN.  SMELL.  TASTE.  TOUCH.  FEEL.


I have some wonderful memories.  The crashing of my laptop and erasing of a year’s worth of seminary stuff is regrettable.  But I also am thankful for other forms of memories.  We did lose all the pictures of Lydia that weren’t saved to email or still on memory cards.  Thankfully.  

Beware of spiritual strokes and spiritual crashes.  Back things up–invest in a pen and a piece of paper.  Do whatever you need to do in order to savor your Savior and what your Savior might be teaching you this summer.

Pretty soon, you’ll turn around and all you’ll be left with are holes that no matter how hard you try, you just can’t fill in.




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