Have you ever awakened from a dream sobbing? I did that recently. I was surrounded by family and friends, and our gathering was breaking up. Someone awkwardly suggested that one of my children come over and give me a hug. She did, and we had a brief moment of her giggling and giving a quick hug. I pulled her in closer, kissing her and saying, “One day in the future you will want to come back to this moment. If you breeze through it, it will be difficult. But if you will make it memorable, you will be able to travel back to this moment whenever you like. Your memory is a time machine.”
The truth of that phrase struck me deeply as I realized all of the moments I did not make memorable in my life. I began to cry. My wife comforted me as I slept with tears running down my face. The reality struck me even more as I awoke. At times I try to remember wonderful experiences in my life, but I can’t because I didn’t make them memorable. Whether with my parents, or siblings, wife, children, or friends, I often just went from one moment to the next without making sure they stuck. I know we can’t recall everything. I understand that even the best memories fade with time. This is one of the curses of humanity in a fallen world. But I have to believe that we can do a better job of making memories of important elements of our life. This is why we take photographs and videos, right?
In the Bible we see people trying to remember moments. Early on they would build monuments to keep the memory of the important event alive. These memorial stones would remind them of something that happened, or a decision that was made. It was a visible ‘witness’ to keep them and succeeding generations honest. I should have built more memorial monuments in my life. I do have great memories… just not enough. My time machine should have more settings than it does. I can’t go back and build those monuments. But I can make better memories today and going forward. Today, you have the same opportunity.
Let me tell you now, as I told my daughter in the dream, “One day in the future you will want to come back to this moment. If you breeze through it, it will be difficult. But if you will make it memorable, you will be able to travel back to this moment whenever you like. Your memory is a time machine.”
The Bible tells us of a man who was on a difficult life journey, and while sleeping experienced a revelation from God. He purposely created a memory of the important event for the future. Here is Jacob’s story, “He reached a certain place and spent the night there because the sun had set. He took one of the stones from the place, put it there at his head, and lay down in that place. And he dreamed: A stairway was set on the ground with its top reaching heaven, and God’s angels were going up and down on it. Yahweh was standing there beside him, saying, “I am Yahweh, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your offspring the land that you are now sleeping on. Your offspring will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out toward the west, the east, the north, and the south. All the peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. I will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! This is none other than the house of God. This is the gate of heaven.”
Early in the morning Jacob took the stone that was near his head and set it up as a marker. He poured oil on top of it and named the place Bethel, though previously the city was named Luz. Then Jacob made a vow: “If God will be with me and watch over me on this journey, if He provides me with food to eat and clothing to wear, and if I return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God. This stone that I have set up as a marker will be God’s house, and I will give to You a tenth of all that You give me.” (Genesis 28:11-32)
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.