Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Memories and Family History

Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you. Deuteronomy 32:7

Memorial Day weekend is usually not only a time to remember those past but a weekend for creating memories.  Many people take trips over Memorial Day weekend.  Visiting family; camping; even going to the park to fly a kite.  It is a time we often gather together with our family and friends to enjoy the company of the living.  Our enjoyment of these special times creates memories that we carry with us into the years to come.

Gathered together at these occasions is often the extended family; uncles and aunts, grandparents and an assortment of brothers, sisters and cousins.  These are the people who share many of the memories in your life.  They have been there for as long as you can remember and know you far better than possibly you would like them to.  These occasions are when the doors fly open and the experiences and people of the past march into the present.  While your great-uncle Fred may not be present, his escapades live on in the after dinner tells of years gone by.  You learn things about your own history you would have never dreamed of.  You discover the uniqueness of your family’s traditions and identity.

This tradition is nothing new.  Here is a great story about discovering who you are...
Dr. Fred B. Craddock relates how Dr. N. Scott Momaday, Professor of Literature at the University of California, a member of a Kiowa Indian Tribe, tells of the time when he was just a youngster and his dad took him to a woman of the tribal village early in the morning and picked him up about supper time. He said all day long the old squaw told stories.

"They sang old songs, described rituals and told the oral history of our people. She told how they began out of a hollow log in the Yellowstone River; of the tribes migration southward; of the wars with the other tribes; of the coming of the white man; of the buffalo hunts--the slaughter; of the coming of the War; of moving southward again to Kansas; of starvation and disease; and finally, of the arrival at Fort Sill and the reservation and confinement.  "Then about dark, my Dad picked me up, and I left her house a KIOWA INDIAN."

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are,
the things you never want to lose.
  ~From the television show The Wonder Years

God commanded His people to remember all that He had done and share His mighty works with the generations that followed.  What God did for the parents He had done for the children who followed in each generation.  Our knowledge of God is not reduced to our experience but the experiences of the family of faith from all generations.  Can you imagine listening as a Hebrew father shared a story of God’s deliverance...

“...and then your great-uncle Joshua stood up with his best friend Caleb and talked about what they had seen.  They were so excited about the land God was giving us.  Where we go today to graze the sheep used to be a city of giants.  Our family was blessed by God to receive some of the best land.  Probably the only better place was the mountain where Caleb’s family dwells...”

How do we keep the memory of God alive in the hearts of the next generation?  We relate our personal experience with God to them and share with them the eternal truths concerning His ways.  We live before them in such a way that they will also hunger for God.  Yes, memory is a great gift from God. Use it in the most positive way that you can. May the past mercies of God serve as a help for the present and a hope for the future

Scripture to Claim:
I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God?   Psalms 77:11-13

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