Ahhh the memories.

There is so much history that goes into any one moment!  

 

Today I saw-

The house I grew up in.

The High School parking lot jumping spot.

The park street that closes during the summer.

The street that Paul lived on.

Vacant downtown storefronts of JC Penney’s and Sports Plus pasts.

Vicario’s Pizza.

The Oasis Drive Thru.

 

Today I was struck by a conversation I watched as I stood in the driveway with two old friends.  What struck me was the fact that I hadn’t really seen these two in maybe 8 years or so, and I had no idea the things that have transpired in their lives in that time.  They have been long time friends of my parents, and so I’ve heard brief stories and snipits, but, honestly, for a moment, I had no idea how to contribute to the conversation.  All I could think about was- “I wonder what’s happened in his life these past several years.”

 

I find myself dwelling on the past and how the past defines who we are in any given moment.  It’s natural of course, when one goes to their “hometown” to feel a bit nostalgic, but for me it goes further than nostalgia.  I have a curiosity for far more than just quaint memories.  I have a hunger to understand the story.  In our lives everything we do today is affected by something we’ve experienced in the past- whether it’s a choice we make, a nervousness we have or a standard we expect.  Everything comes from somewhere else- be it joy, excitement or satisfaction or anger, fear or grief.  I find myself drawn into opportunities to understand that in other people, and see the kinds of insight that reveals personality- the kind of insight you only get by understanding the story.  Why are you parents the way they are?  Why did your boyfriend act like that?  Why did she make those choices? – Questions we look at to understand more than just any one choice!

 

All of these places and all of these memories put together, could never add up to history of this small town.  So much has happened here.  So many stories have started here.  I can say with gratitude that I count mine among the many.  Some happy, some sad, some disappointing and some absolutely triumphant.  How they can all take place is a mystery that only a truly great God could carry. 

 

And so, I guess, it is to us, simply to pedal in the moment, one stroke at a time, moving forward, carrying all that we have been into all that we are becoming.  

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