Mementoes - tangible reminders of special occasions - bring back memories and a variety of feelings. In Joshua 4:8 as the Israelites carry the Ark of the Covenant across the River Jordan, the Lord asks Joshua to instruct 12 men to each take up a stone from the river and together build a monument near their camp as a reminder of the Lord’s providence and presence.
Physical mementos take up a certain amount of space. “Mind-mementos” on the other hand, seem to be endless because there is much more room in your mind than anywhere else!
What are the mementos you have (physical or mental) that you have built throughout the years? These could be memories of when you felt confident, affirmed, successful, centered, times when you recognized the presence of the Lord, times the Lord has provided a way out of danger for you. These are mementos that inspire you to continue the journey.
Mind-mementos can also clutter your mind with thoughts of anger, despair, disappointment, sadness, jealousy, failure, abuse, especially when you refuse to let go of the memory of that event, and insist on hashing the scene over and over in your mind.
“Happy memories” can be a source of inspiration and encouragement. However, they can also trip you up if you fall into the “If only it was still here, didn’t change, etc.” and you get stuck and “pine away” in the past. In that scenario you rob the happy memory of its energy to renew you in the present.
Which mementos take prominence in your mind? Do you spend as much time with the inspiring mementos as with the discouraging ones?
May your Journey Markers be a reminder that 1) God is still here, still present with you, still-speaking, still providing, and 2) You are still here and are not alone on this journey. May you continue to discover the reality of the prayer of Psalm 139: “Where can I go, Lord, from your presence? You, Lord, are always with me.” – Jackie F.