Recently, I went to the church of my youth for a Worship Night hosted by an old friend. This church was special…Walking through those doors as a child was like walking into your loving grandmother’s warm kitchen where hot sweets awaited you…It was always like coming home.  Walking through the doors of that church this time was no different and a huge smile overtook my face as all the beautiful childhood memories came rushing over me.

 

While there, I walked the whole church along with my sisters and took a stroll down memory lane – recalling days when I’d run down those hallways as a child, remembering my Sunday School and Missionnettes Classes.  Remembering Pastor *Smith, the kindest most loving pastor anyone would want to meet – now 80 and still serving the Lord through missions!  I recalled sitting on the window sills with *Suzie – an old friend – until an adult would come passing through the hallways and we would jump off, giggling and running off before we were caught.  I remembered running into any of the Pastors’ offices (the “forbidden” part of the church to a child), gazing at all those huge bookshelves, before whichever Pastor it was would come back from his trip down the hallway and I would scamper off before he caught me sneaking around.  I remembered the endless hours of fun Bible Quiz matches and winning so many of those games.  I recalled the church’s Christmas Play I starred in, the hours of rehearsal and the thrill of performing in front of a full house audience that watched us every night four nights in a row.  During our tour of the old church, I chuckled as I told my little sister stories of days gone by.

 

Nothing seemed to have changed…except the bathrooms! 🙂 They had just been restored…redecorated and modernized.

 

While we were worshipping inside the auditorium, I looked around at the pews and carpet that haven’t changed one bit, remembered raising my hands in worship as a child; now, I smiled from ear to ear, as I lifted my hands in worship to my Father who’s been faithful to me since then. 

 

Then, as I gazed again at the pews, at the carpet that had always been there…it hit me! This feeling I’ve had recently of how sometimes we take our past and somehow choose only to remember certain parts or to only erase or “restore” other parts – for example, the church’s carpet and pews vs. the bathroom. 

 

I mean, think about it, for some reason unknown to you or me, the church staff had decided to restore the bathrooms, and at the same time, they chose to keep those same sturdy old pews and long-lasting carpet…I realized that was kind of like my memory. In my life, I have also chosen that same path – I’ve made a conscious decision to keep some things, some memories, as they were, old yet sturdy, well-used but lasting, and yet completely “restore” others, making them “modern” and useful to my present situation.

 

 

See, why did the church restore the bathrooms?  They needed to, to make them useful to the current group of church members.  I can imagine some of the members asking for this change, the church recognized the need for it, and then implemented the restoration. 

 

This is how it is with my own memories…my own history…I realized that some memories are dirty, stale and non-useful unless restored.  The church’s bathroom, for example, was always a bathroom. But now, it was “moved into the future”…restored to serve its current purpose for the current members of the church.  My memories will always be what they were…yet some of them need to “move on” with life…so I’ve restored them and moved them into the future, making them useful and productive in my present happenings.

 

Next time you stroll down memory lane, think about if you need to restore some of those stale memories and make them useful to you in your present.

 

 

Until next time and in His love,

Josephine

 

*Names changed to protect identity

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