The above is a china dog I have in my possession.
It was given to my parents as a wedding present, which makes it at least 62 years old.
When I was two my mother had professional photos taken of me and to encourage me to sit still she allowed me to hold this china dog that I loved to look at.
I remember feeling so privileged that I was trusted enough to hold this dog, although I remember wondering why I was allowed to hold it now when always before I had been forbidden to touch it.
I remember feeling the responsibility of being careful not to drop it.
I have only to look at this china dog, to remember vividly the feelings and thoughts I had as a two year old.
I love memory triggers - things that help me to hold on to memories that are sentimental, life changing or important for the future.
We are today the sum total of our past. Every day has had its part in creating the person we have become.
Memories help us to keep our mooring in the face of change, help us hold on to the things that connect us to our past.
Memories of happier days comfort us when our today is lonely, difficult or sorrow filled.
Memories are what we use to fill the empty spots left by things or people who are no longer part of our daily lives.
Memories are the treasures of yesteryears that are like jewels in a jewellery box or cherished photos in an album.
Memories also help us live today better than we lived yesterday. We are creatures who learn best by experience…and memories keep those experiences in our line of vision where we can continue to learn from them.
Memories also keep us connected to those we love, our bond kept strong by the sharing of our common memories.
Memories…a beautiful, meaningful and purposeful part of our life.
Did you know God wants us to make sure we provide memory triggers for ourselves and our children concerning what He has done in our lives ??
God had just confirmed Joshua as His choice to lead His people after the death of Moses. Joshua in obedience to God’s instructions had commanded the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant to put their feet into the Jordon. As they did so, the Jordon backed up and stood still allowing the Israelites to cross over on dry land. The waters of the Jordon were held back until all the people with their children and flocks had crossed over.
Twelve men, each representing their tribe, were commanded by God to take up one stone each from the center of the Jordon and pile them up where they camped the first night after crossing the Jordon.
The piled up rocks were meant to be a sign for years to come when the children would pass by and ask, “Why are these stones here? What do they mean?” Then the parents and the grandparents would tell the marvellous story of how God miraculously provided a way for His people over the Jordon. (Joshua 4)
They did not have cameras; they did not have artist’s renditions of the event.. so God had them use what they had – something that would not be washed away by rain or destroyed by the ravages of time - rocks.
Did you ever stop to think that even today, the popularity of cameras and the desire to capture memories is really a very old directive of God?
Do you think to record, not only the moments of interest in your days, but also the times that will remind your children and grandchildren of the miracles, the evidence of God’s goodness in your life?
Will your descendents looking at your memory albums be reminded of what was most important in your life?
When you sit with your little ones and they say, “What is this picture?” will you be able to tell them stories about God?