Doug Creamer column: Our memories
Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 25, 2022
By Doug Creamer
My family got together last weekend to celebrate Father’s Day and my older sister’s birthday. Which birthday we celebrated, I can’t publish in the paper if I want to remain alive. My little sister was able to attend, which meant that all my siblings were together at one time. That does not happen very often. Of course, we forgot to take a picture together.
My brother created a fun activity for the evening. We were to share our earliest recollection of my sister, and our best memory of time spent with her. My best memory was easy. My sister worked for the National Park system as a lifeguard on the Outer Banks. I went down to stay with her for several nights. One night we went outside and watched for shooting stars. There was supposed to be a meteor shower that night, and we had the clearest, darkest sky I have ever seen.
We lay on the picnic table and watched the night sky. The Milky Way was incredible. I never knew there were that many stars in the sky. We saw so many meteors that night, it was unbelievable. There was one that was brilliantly bright, right overhead. The smoke from that one was in the sky for a few moments. I have never forgotten that night.
Dad thought it would be interesting to hear which house was our favorite from growing up. We moved a lot when we were kids, so there were many from which to choose. My Dad chose one where my parents had made many friends. I chose one where I had my own room, even though I had another room in one house with a beautiful skylight that opened. I am not sure my parents know that I used to go out that skylight and sit on the roof.
My older sister talked with me after the gathering and questioned my memory about the first time I had my own room. It took me a couple of days to remember other houses where I had my own room. How did I forget? Several family members commented during our gathering that sometimes we don’t have accurate memories.
In a different conversation with my parents we were discussing major events in our lives. My parents remembered events that they thought were huge and impactful that I didn’t even remember occurring. Events that I thought were life-altering, they didn’t have any memory of at all. It is interesting what we remember and how we remember those events occurring.
The memories we have shape our lives. We all have good ones and bad ones. But one of the great things about our spiritual lives is that God doesn’t remember any of the bad or sinful things we have done if we have confessed our sins. Our pasts are completely washed away by the precious blood of Jesus. He promises to throw the sinful memories of those things away.
We have to learn to be like God in two important ways. First, we have to learn to forgive ourselves. If God has forgiven us, we can learn to forgive ourselves. We live in broken human bodies that are going to sin and fail God, but when we turn back to Him it’s all gone. Second, we need to learn to forgive others. If God can forgive us, we have to learn to forgive others. Remember, they are human too and will make mistakes. While we can remember the wrongs done against us, we have to strive to forgive those who wrong us.
I think the next thing we need to work on is focusing on remembering the good things. God is so wonderful and gracious towards us. He has blessed us in so many ways. We need to reflect and remember those things. We need to count our blessings and remember His goodness towards us. We need to remember all the ways He has helped us and answered our prayers. It is a good thing when our hearts are filled with thanksgiving.
I want to encourage you to reflect on the good things in your life. Be thankful for your family, friends, church, neighbors and all the many blessings God has bestowed upon you. Take your eyes off your failures and put them on your redeemer. Exchange all the worries you have for tomorrow for gratitude for all the ways God has come through for you in the past. When we can remember the goodness of God from the past it will help us to trust Him with the future. Don’t forget, God is working hard to plan a great future for you.
Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or firstname.lastname@example.org.