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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reimagining "Remembering"

 The past is not dead.  It's not even past.  
William Faulkner   (Requiem for a Nun)

You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you are left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays.     
 Meredith Wilson  (Harold Hill in The Music Man)

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
The Psalmist (Psalm 118:24)

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jesus (Matthew 6:34)

Birthdays and Anniversaries are times to remember and re-imagine.  This week I seem to be doing a lot of both since last Sunday was my birthday and next Sunday will be Anniversary Sunday at Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church.  And it has gotten me to thinking about how much our past informs who we are today and how we look toward the future.

We all have people, events, and stories in our lives that shape who we are and even how we remember our lives.  We also have stories that others have told us that we accept as truth.  Some of these we cherish and honor while others we had just as soon forget.  Either way,  who we are today is the result of all our yesterdays.

In a way this all sounds rather fatalistic.  However, in reality, it is quite dynamic because each time we remember something we have the opportunity to turn that memory around and look at it from different perspectives and in doing so re-imagine it with the context of the present moment.  And in doing so we actually create a new memory that shapes our future.

The past is always with us. We can't change that.  But we can control how we react to it.  We can release the grip that tragedies, mistakes, and regrets have on us by grieving losses, learning from missteps, and letting go of blame.  At the same time we can also embrace times of success, joy, and satisfaction.  One thing is for sure, whichever we choose is who we are now as well as the beginning of tomorrow.

So, give it a try - re-imagine how you remember and see what happens. 


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