We often talk about the memories we’re making, those special times we share with loved ones and friends. We speak with confidence about what the future holds.
“This is what it’s all about!”
“Someday we’ll look back on this and smile.”
“I will never forget this day as long as I live!”
“What great memories!”
But what if we do forget? What if we can’t remember? What if when that person that made us laugh ‘til we had tears rolling down our cheeks, walks in the room and we stare at them with stranger eyes and their heart breaks because we don’t know their name?
The other night as I sat in the dim light of my father’s little apartment in the memory support unit, I said to him, “Do you have any memories of when you were a little boy Dad?” Knowing I shouldn’t ask him to remember anything because he might get frustrated, I knew I was breaking the rules. But “they” do say that we keep our long term memories the longest so I thought I’d give it a whirl.
“Not really, not any whole ones.”And then he stared into someplace faraway, and I knew I wouldn’t ask him to remember anything ever again.
So if our moments aren’t about making memories what are they about?
They are about the present. They are about making the most of everything that God has given us to bring him glory, build his kingdom, and enrich lives. They are about being Jesus in a broken world. They are about building relationships that we may not remember someday, but that may be part of God’s provision for our lives in the future, and will most definitely be a part of our eternity.
One in three seniors now dies from or with Alzheimer’s. These numbers, that were just recently published, are shocking, but the baby boomer generation is just entering retirement so these numbers are likely to balloon. My Dad’s life, and others like his, is all about what is happening in the present moment. With Alzheimer’s, ten minutes ago might as well have happened 80 years ago. Alzheimer’s patients not only lose memories, if they live long enough they will forget how to do just about everything including how to write, walk, brush their teeth, feed themselves and even swallow. They lose themselves in every significant earthly way.
So where is our hope? It’s where our only real hope can be, in Jesus.
"Lord, may I live my life in such a way that my treasures are stored up in heaven, where moth and rust and dementia cannot destroy. May I use the time you have given me to impact eternity, and anchor my life to the only One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
This is my prayer and the hope of my life. Won't you join me?
Today I'm sharing with Lisa Jo and Five Minute Friday where she gives us a prompt and we write for five minutes. Today, I took eight! Eek! Today's prompt is REMEMBER.