This past weekend my cousin and her husband (and my mom) came to stay. I hadn’t seen my cousin for several years. We are six weeks apart in age. As children we would see each other a few times a year when my family went four hours north by car to stay with theirs or they came to us. It was a really great weekend of catching up, sharing and feeling the comfort of our childhood connection. We talked often about our childhood adventures and family dynamics.
We both became Christians in our pre-teen years and our friendship was a close one. Over the years she became a social worker, myself a teacher. She and her husband had two children and were also foster parents and adoptive parents. I moved into missions and overseas.
After they left I was thinking about how easy it is to have close connections and mutually experienced events and then through changes in circumstances, family, distance and the ever quickening pace of time lose touch. How could we have been so close and then drift apart?
When we do meet up with old friends I sometimes find that after the initial how are you, and a catch up on things there often comes a time when even I don’t really know what to talk about. We share about the past our memories of school, or holidays or family events. Then what? How do we re connect? What will make the difference?
I have come to the conclusion that memories are great, the good ones that is, but we need to be having continual shared experiences if any kind of relationship is to flourish. Memories have to be made. They are made through mutual experiences.
As I thought about this and the fact that my cousin and had some good experiences together this past weekend I realised that we were making memories. No experiences no memories.
I have been follower of Jesus for a long time now. I have the memories of the experiences I have had over the years. The memory of the time I first asked Jesus to be my saviour, the experiences of answered prayer, of my calling into missions, the way I experienced and have continually experienced His provision for me as I accepted the call. There have been some experiences that I would rather not have had but with hindsight I can see that even they were meant for a purpose.
However I don’t want to live on memories of those experiences. I want to have new experiences of following Jesus. I want to have a fresh experience of His provision, His love, His use of me, His grace; and so on. If I can continue to ‘visit’ with Him, share my life with Him, feed my spirit, soul and mind with His presence then I know I will be making more memories while at the same time strengthening my relationship with Him leading to new experiences.
In re connecting with my cousin I don’t think it will be as long as it has been till we see each other again.
ps. The one thing we never got to do was to take a picture of ourselves – but the lack of visual memory doesn’t diminish the actual experience.Read More