One of my dear friend’s mom has Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s a day-to-day journey but he handles it with great care, patience, and fortitude.  Sometimes, he shares stories about how her memory has diminished over the years.  For example, she often asks for relatives who have long passed on, is not able to recognize who he is or remember his name, and cannot complete simple tasks like preparing a meal or taking a shower, let alone finding her “lost” purse or keys.

I have grown to appreciate how precious my own memories are and to think about how easy it is to take them for granted.  I try to pay closer attention to the experiences I choose to hold onto in my heart, mind, and spirit, and those I choose let go of and why.

On Tuesday, during my devotional time, I came across this quote by Howard Thurman:

I purpose in my heart that I shall not use my memory to store up those things
which fester, poison and destroy my living, my life, or the living and the life of
others.  I shall make it my study to preserve my soul in balance and liberty.  I will
use my memory to store up the excellent things of my experience.  In this way I
shall lay up treasures in Heaven… Despite the number of times I fail, despite all
the limitations and inadequacies which beset me, by God’s strength I will make
of myself a High Priest of Truth. [1]

Today, I am purposing to make every effort to use my memory to store up things that are life-giving for me and for others as best I can – while I can.  There are times when I have to work especially hard to avoid letting negative thoughts fester and to rid myself of the poison that always seems so readily available should I choose to accept it.  And there may very well come a day when I have no choice in the matter whatsoever; it will be what it will be.  But until then, it seems a worthy pursuit to choose life, joy, truth, and peace.  Would you agree?

Grace and peace,
Pastor Cathy

[1] Thurman, Howard, Meditations of the Heart, Beacon Press, Boston, Kindle Loc 559 of 2425