Thursday, January 11, 2007

My thoughts this morning reflect back to the things I saw in Africa.

It is interesting how when I was young, my memories were laden with only the positives of life and/or relationships. As I have grown a bit more mature, accuracy sometimes seasons the parade of pictures that scroll.

The beauty we experienced was amazing at times. It is interesting though, how basic infrastructure that exists in American culture is absent in other parts of the world. This was the case across North Africa. The villages we journeyed through were so different, and at times so beautiful. Yet, there was a constant. Trash littered the boundaries.

I have shared before how on their trash pick up day, there would be a small plastic grocery size bag of garbage at the curb. Sometimes, it was hard to differentiate between that and what had settled into the landscape around it.

The edges of the cities were the worst. It was as if all were hauling their refuse to the outskirts of the village and just heaving it.

Interesting how you could often tell when you were entering a municipal area by the contents of the perimeter.

I do not like the fact that in my "old age" I remember such things. I would prefer to see each city as pristine and new. No scars of the ages they have lived through. Just beauty that causes one to repose and reflect.

Perhaps this is one additional meaning to the Lord's desire that we must come to Him as a child...memory and all. Children are very forgiving. For a time, they will not remember the bad that happens, they do not associate it as such until they are taught to. There is protection in this, but there is also folly.

As we age, painful memories begin to mount for each of us. We have all had to walk through dark places. Unfortunately, as we age, the dark perimeter greets our association with things of the past.

Did you know that while we learn from some of these, in many areas it is a tool of the enemy?

We approach the dark corners of a remembrance, and refuse to go any further. Often, we allow that shallow rift to be an impenetrable wall.

There is much good that comes from the bad that happens. We must be willing to look and find it. We cannot afford to dwell on the negative alone. Yes, it flavors our past, but we must not allow it to become our past.

It is nothing short of miraculous that we serve a Heavenly Father who forgives and truly forgets our past failures. We have a clean slate through His grace. He cannot remember what we have done. He does not WANT to remember what we have done.

The negative remembrances that flood our minds and beat us down do not belong to our Lord. No, the author of that project is the enemy. He thrives on "fonging" us with our failures. We seem to wallow in that vacuous puddle.

Our Father does not tally our foolishness, rather He views us through the lens of Christ. We are pristine and new!

Would it not be amazing if we each were no longer tethered in our own minds to past failures? Being freed from the worn circular path at the edge of our sinfulness, we should begin to walk as Jesus did.

This is not a time to forge deeper ruts in our piling paths of pessimism. We must move beyond our borders, embrace His light, and let it guide our steps.



At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it would be amazing to not have the chains of the past binding us! It is a tool of the enemy, and one that we need to not let him use! What an awesome post, and much needed!! Thanks for the wonderful insight!

Linda Anderson

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the longest time, I felt tremendous guilt for sexual failure in my life. When I read Micah 7, that changes. God has won the victory for us with Jesus. Satan was holding me back from true repentance and life with my pride/guilt. I can not ever forget what Jesus has done for me. It is the ultimate, end-all, be-all. Satan has no weapons. God wanted two things from me. He wanted my sins punished and for me to be righteous. I could not do either one, but Jesus did them for me. Sorry Satan, you lose.

At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder. I am sure many of us, once again, needed that.


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