Some recent events in my life prompted me to think of an old friend from years ago, rekindling fond memories of times we shared together. All of us have memories of past occasions: some going back years to our upbringing; some more recent; some of life's highs; some of its lows. For many of us, photographs say more than words and so we use photos to nurture memories. Our family living room is rather like that, with photos on shelves and walls as well as in our growing archive of albums which weigh down the bookshelves.
One of the things which the Bible records is the followers of God learning to pass on lessons they have learned about life and God's faithfulness. For example, part of Deuteronomy chapter 6 is the beginning of the Shema, which Jewish people still say every day. Lent offers us a good chance for reflection. As I reflect on life and things I have learned about its ups and downs, people, myself and God, I realise that it's often old lessons I need to re-learn and apply, rather than completely new things I'm learning. And my mistakes and sins are also usually about falling into the same old traps rather than encountering new ones.
Memories are not just a way to wallow in nostalgia. The things we experienced yesterday and yesteryear should affect the way we live today. What lessons have you learned which you still apply today?
Writing this column is a prompt for me to email my old friend, it's been a long time since we were in touch. I wonder about you … is there a person, or maybe God himself, that you need to get back in touch with?