Our past is still with us in some ways. It defines us.
It is like a backpack full of trinkets and memories often weighing us down, yet we are reluctant to let them go for fear that we lose a vital piece of us in the process. And so we lug them with us into the present…because we can.
I recently read a story about a man who discovered that his childhood friend had been maliciously murdered. His friend had moved away when they were still young and their friendship had faded away like a summer sun in the evening. He hadn’t thought about his friend until one day he looked him up on the internet only to discover the tragic news of his passing.
I wonder sometimes about the things in my backpack. I bring to mind often some of my childhood friends that I have never seen since the day we drove away. Sometimes I replay memories like an old VCR tape, rewinding it and re-watching the action play out on the screen in my mind. I remember the dumb things I said or did because I was young and stupid. I recall the moments I thought would last for ever, but only found out how fleeting time can be.
When I was younger I would sit in the pews at church as if they had splinters and my rear end were riddled with those wooden shards. Time was laborious then, and an hour felt like twenty years. Now, much older, I sat in church yesterday, it was Easter Sunday, and that celebratory hour vanished like a blink of the eye. Isn’t it funny how time, growing older and maturity measures the minutes vastly different than when we were young and carefree?
I imagine that there is a grain of truth for us here.
Our days are surely numbered, and the older we get the more in tune we are with that realization.
Where minutes to a younger me felt like an eternity now quickly dissolves like a morning fog at the kiss of the burning, amber of a morning sun. Perhaps this is the lesson we all must learn. For doesn’t it say somewhere in the Bible that a thousand years to God is like a day? If our collection of years and backpacks of the past amount to a mere speck of time compared to our Eternal God’s, why do I sometimes trust in my own interpretation on that time? Why do I struggle with embracing the Eternal perspective on things? Doesn’t He know better than my limited span of existence?
The bible also says “Who am I that you are mindful of me?” (Psalm 8:4)
Just think of it; the ageless, Eternal, Creator of the Universe is mindful of one who is the complete opposite of Him. Why? Because of my experience? Because of my sarcastic sense of humor? Because of all of my charm? NO. All of this comes from the One who created you and me. So why is He mindful of you and me? LOVE. Pure and simple. He loves us. He cares about us. He desires to walk with us in our day and be included in the journey.
I don’t know what’s in your backpack that contains your past. Perhaps some of it is cherished memories. Perhaps other items contained there is the of pain and misery of a broken childhood or family…and you still carry around those scars today. Perhaps it does define us in some ways. But then I also hope that there is a larger perspective, with far less pain than splinters in a church pew and growing up,…it is the eternal perspective. That there is some understanding of the Infinite God who would care for the finite – you and me. He longs to share in the stories of the past…the present, and journey into the future with you.
Just something more to ponder today.