Memory is a funny thing. Over the weekend we drove through the town I grew up in and I was struck by the realization that there’s all these moments from my past that go away with me; that will be lost to the currents of time, as meaningless as a single drop in the rushing river. There’s these vast sands that make up me, who I am, that are only truly accessible to me; my own private sandbox. There are so many things in the world that can take them: injury, disease, dementia, death, etc. I can pick up any handful and play them back again, but how long until that isn’t so? How I came to be me could be lost so quickly. How fragile and ephemeral.
But for what purpose is memory? When would I ever again need to know how to program the radio in a 1983 Chevy Citation? What use is the packaging of the off-brand lunchmeat at my friend Jason’s house when I was 7? The warm sunshine on my face while playing Super Nintendo in my room and listening to Y95 at 16? The little plastic bin I kept my Hot Wheels in when I was at a neighbor kid’s house when I was 4? The best route to get from work to my apartment at 19? The app that was up (CorelDraw) on my girlfriend’s step-dad’s monitor when he told me he didn’t like me and forbade me to see her again? The first sandwich (meatball sub) I ever had at the first Subway I ever saw in the Albertson’s shopping center that opened up by my childhood home? Why do we have this kind of seemingly useless long-term storage?
And then the revelation: in each of those moments is God. The purpose of every grain of that sand was to give Him a place to mark for me that He Loved that version of me as well. The me obsessed with girls, the me obsessed with technology, the me obsessed with science or money or intellectual superiority; He Loved the uniqueness that He made in me not because of where I was going, but because of the journey He’d planned growing me up, the way a farmer Loves to watch a seedling grow. There is little purpose of memory, then, but that we measure our growth and, in retrospect, see His hand there tending us. Every one of those billions of moments and fragments of moments is God’s Love. Because nothing is lost. Nothing is wasted. If all of that was gone from me tomorrow, or if I was gone tomorrow, each moment is in His mind being treasured forever. That is what it is to be omniscient and omnipresent: each of us has His full attention at every second of our lives, and He is constantly focused on each of those moments in all of our lives.
How grand that Love? How careful that attention? I wonder that I wasted so many of those years denying Him as cruel, random, and wrong. Like Job I had some things to tell God about His vicious little experiment should He be shown to actually exist. So desperate was I not to bend my knee to anything or anyone. That’s what really drives most of our rebellion; we can’t wrap our minds around true, pure submission. But here now, on the other side of that life I see Him, the patient Father guiding His child through every lesson necessary to eliminate all reasonable options but Him.
No matter how much I think I know how much He Loves me I always discover a new depth. Father, You are so amazing to me. I Love You.