While traveling from Seattle to Yakima, Washington, on Interstate 90, you pass through a glorious section of the Cascade Mountains. On either side of the highway mountains burst from the ground—gargantuan green sentinels keeping watch along the road. I wanted to stop to take photographs—badly.
However, there was no safe place to pull over to take a photo. It was a little disappointing. I tried several times to get a shot from the moving car. The front window was bug splotched and there was a glare. Besides, photos never do a mountain scene justice.
It seems a bit like my life—and probably yours. We zoom down the road with life happening all around us, but we often can’t pause to take a photo that might capture that moment: laughter around the dinner table, crying with a broken-hearted friend, or stories told to friends in secret. Each moment carries with it a weight of glory, and yet we can’t recall them all. Still, they leave behind a seasoning that flavors our lives. In some ways we are each a unique recipe composed of all those moments—most of them unremembered because they were every-day kinds of things.
Several years ago, I did an exercise where I went through certain points in my life and remembered things that I haven’t thought about for years: birthday parties, old friends, pets, and favorite toys—just to name a few. It was a good experience.
I can’t help but think that remembering helps us; I know it helped me. As we recall the good moments, we are reminded that we are held and seen. We see when people championed our causes and encouraged our gifts. We see we were loved, needed, or appreciated.
When we recall unkindness and pain, we can use that opportunity to apply grace to our hearts. We ask for the ability to forgive others and ultimately, God. We are reminded, too, that often life is hard, and the small gifts of everyday joys should never be taken too lightly but relished and enjoyed.
Either way, in the process we can become more whole and thankful. So today I take mental pictures when I can—ways to remember what I am destined to forget: mountains that merge to deserts, swiftly moving streams, and a conversation with my loving husband about the orchards and vineyards we pass on the way to our destination.
I would like to challenge you to remember, too:
Your favorite grammar or high school teacher
Your favorite childhood game and who played it with you
The best gift you ever gave
A person who impacted your life for good
If you want to, please write about one of these on this blog and I’ll check them and post them for others to read.