Memories and Experiences
If you’re like my family it seems as if summer has only started and it’s just about over already. Life has been so busy making memories and creating experiences that these last two months seem like a blur. If I don’t write them down, I’ll have a hard time remembering all those memories I made.
When I think back on the highlights just since May, I can hardly comprehend all that has happened. I was blessed to give the baccalaureate message to the Class of 2018. I was blessed to see my daughter speak at graduation. I was fortunate enough to spend a week in Belize doing some mission work with my daughter. I spent a great week in Houston with my wife and nine high schoolers from Independence at a gathering of more than 30,000 high schoolers from all over the country. And I got to spend a week at the Grand Canyon with my family. That’s a lot of memory making packed into short period of time.
The challenge that comes with that pace is not just cherishing the memories but taking in the experience of God in those memories. It is good to reflect on those memories and ask yourself where you saw God in your experiences. Of course I experienced God in the vastness of the Grand Canyon, but I also experienced God in watching an elk nurse her calf twenty yards from our tents and, two days later, waking up to a cow elk (maybe the same one) licking the rain water off the tent my kids are sleeping in.
It doesn’t take something as big as the Grand Canyon or as grand as a big elk ten feet away to experience God. God can be experienced in the grass of the lawn you just mowed and the field your kids play ball on. God is experienced in the excitement of the Fourth of July and dread of a Monday morning. Some of us recognize God in our waking up to a new day or the rest we finally get at the end of long day.
Experiences are more than memories. Experiences are something worth remembering. They have value. Experiences help us to see that we are a part of something much larger than ourselves. Experiencing God gives us just a small glimpse into His power and grace for we were made to be in relationship with God, experiencing with God all that He has created. Experiencing God just takes a moment to remember all that God has done.
For the remainder of this summer, while you continue to make memories and create experiences, I urge you to not forget that your experiences are all gifts given to you by God and He wants to share in them with you.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours.” (1 Chronicles 29:11 ESV)