I had just picked up my dear friends Kyle and Amanda from the airport (or was it taking them to it?) and we were talking about wanting to go on a hike together. They brought up a hike we had gone on, the four of us, wanting to go there again. Our band of four hand dwindled down to three by then, and the pain was still there. They apologized as they realized the implications. But I had a different perspective. I said, "I've learned over my few short years on earth that we can't live our lives avoiding things because of a painful memory, we must make new memories." I'd learned that lesson a few years before because of music. It wasn't something written in any song I've heard, but rather an experience with a particular song. I do not remember what song it was. You know how certain memories can attach to people, places, or songs? We attach emotions and memories to these things and whenever we encounter them it brings the memory back up whether good or bad. Well, what I learned was that we can reassign emotions and memories to songs and other things. It was from my sheer stubbornness I discovered this as a song I had associated some bad memories with was one that I liked so despite the pain it caused me I chose to keep listening to it. Over time some good things happened that I associated with the song and no longer did it bring up negative emotions or memories. Anyhow, I say all of this simply to set the stage.
I find it funny how some memories that some people might consider bad I am very fond of and that make me glad. I find it amusing that I am already writing another blog so soon after my first, but it could not be helped. I went for a night run tonight and I was bombarded with memories as I ran. It was cool and pleasant as I ran in the dark toward a road that I run on quite often. I like to run on this road at night because of the general lack of street lights. I often get lost in my prayers and the pleasure of running down this dark street. What I encountered surprised me. Even as I started out my ankle was hurting a little bit. I haven't been running as often as I should, so my body is weaker than it should be. I injured my ankle in Tanzania two summers ago, and unless I keep up on my running, the ankle grows weak and aches when I start running again. That made me think of Tanzania. As I ran along the dark street I was reminded of a particular night after fellowship, games, snacks, and prayer at a missionary's house I rode most of the way to the place I was staying with another missionary as her companion since she didn't particularly want to drive home alone. I then walked from her place to mine in the dark, and running down the street reminded me of that. The ditches along the side of this street reminded me of the ditches along the streets in Tanzania. Even some of the odors on my run reminded me. Here is my point. The pain of my ankle and the stench of trash should normally be bad memories, something people generally want to forget. Yet I cling to these as good memories reminding me of a time where I was closer to Christ than I've ever been before or since. It is all a matter of perspective. I hope I can have the perspective of Christ.
For His Glorious Name,