Sunday, August 19, 2012

My Past. It's So Yesterday.


"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."    Philippians 3:14


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This post will horrify some of you. Simply blow you away. But, well, I want to tell you the truth.

Basically, I leave My Past alone.

I've got two bins of my little family's photos, and too, pictures from my own childhood, but I almost never look at them.

I'm not into genealogy. At all. My only relatives who I find terribly interesting are my grandparents:



... and I knew them, personally. Loved them in-person. My memories of them inspire me, make me smile and leave me anticipating Heaven when we'll be reunited. And too, it's ultimately my experiences and God's incredible goodness, mercy and His patience which has made me what I am today--not my ancestors. I see that as fact.

I've got hatboxes stuffed with old letters from even my high school days, but (don't scream) I'm considering recycling them with the trash. I never look at them; I just lug them from house to house, so why keep them? (And before you say that my family might like to see them when I die, save your breath. They care less than I do about My Past.)

We have one video tape with old film of Tom, Naomi (age 9) and me from our Nevada Days. There's a video of Naomi in a town play at age 14 and assorted videos of Tom's and Naomi's college concerts together back in the 90's. We never watch them.

We just don't care anymore. 

Oh, I do treasure My Past for one reason: the valuable lessons it teaches. You know, how not to act.  What doesn't work. How not to be. I've learned much from My Past, actually.

In fact, I used to be extremely sentimental, thought about My Past almost daily, reread my old diaries and letters, wished My Past could be My Present. That's when I lived in the Nevada Desert during my Darkest Days of Depression. 

So not good to yearn for dead days.

But now? Now this is what I believe, this is what I do, this is how I live:

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."  Isaiah 43: 18-19











And now My Present has become My Good Old Days. Living fully in the Now is so amazing, so good, that I find Now and pressing on to what lies ahead, best, like discovering new ways, new rivers in what otherwise would be a desert if God were not leading me through. In joy.









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  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."  2 Corinthians 5:17











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If you enjoy splashing around in Your Past, that's cool. I'm just telling you how I feel about mine.













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6 comments:

Echoes From the Hill said...

Your daughter might not care now, but she might in about 30 years.
I don't believe in dwelling in the past, but every once in a while, it is fun to look at photos from the past, and laugh at the hair styles and clothes of the seventies!
It is also great to look at my mother's photos from the forties. She was beautiful, and the clothes of that era were so becoming and had great style. I also like to look at the furniture in those old houses.
nancyr

Debra said...

See, Nancy, I just don't find those things to be fun, but rather sad. Instead, I like to choose inside my head things I wish to remember and then forget the rest--and maybe photos show me what I'd rather forget. Or something. Weird, huh? And Naomi has never, ever been sentimental in all her 32 years. She's always preferred the present or the future, as well. Like mother like daughter in that area.

Don't worry. All will be well. :) (And thanks for commenting.) Blessings, Debra

Anonymous said...

My family does care about genealogy but up to a point. They have some documents. They really though want to know about the people not about when they were born and such. Who were they? What did they stand for? What type of personality did they have? I can understand that. I have been going through correspondence and e-mails my sisters and I have had and kept. Memories of places and times they would not understand. I am setting them aside and labeling them as such so that if they are kept tip the end they can be all thrown out in one swoop. Also going through pictures and throwing out pictures of places and old friends they would not know. I have kept only a tiny few and on the back of these I have labeled who they are and to get rid of them later too..In fact I think I will put them in that box. I ended up getting all the family history and it takes up several boxes. If I don't go through them now our children will have that burden. I am also going to get them together soon and show them all and ask them how much they actually want. Let them have time if they want to think it out. If they do not want such and such it will be gotten rid of now. What they want for their children to have is up to them and this is what they have to decide not me. All of them have tiny homes and busy lives and it is their life after we are gone to do with these things as they wish. I have already gone through many photos of their childhood and given them many. They want them. Also as they admire things I have I ask them if they want them Now. If so they can have them now. I have told them repeatedly what they do with Any of the things here is up to them...never worry over things gotten rid of. When I grew up attics held a chest of treasures and perhaps a chest of drawers with hats or things from the past. We live differently now. I grew up knowing a big extensive family and knew all their names and stories. My children knew none of them. They were very special God fearing people and I do wish my children would have known them but that was not to be. I understand you points about the past. My past made me who I am and brought me to God. I just miss the warmth and friendships I grew up with but my husband's family had none of that. My children grew up with this. I think to get the rest of the past's stuff taken care of and settled between the children I will breath easier. I do not really want them to have too much to deal with. Saying all this I can see the contrast between your thoughts and mine. I am now seeing now holding on to the past and it's stuff is not good. As I write I am thinking. Sarah

Anonymous said...

I do find genealogy facinating, but it is not something I very often work on. If you cannot understand your past and that includes ancestors, you may not be able to understand your present very well. Sins of the fathers are indeed passed down...and history does repeat itself, in ways you could never foresee even!! In our little family, I finally understand what is going on with one of our children and spouse...it is what I saw as a child going on with an aunt and uncle. Nothing to be done, but pray. But perhaps now we can pray more effectively. Hopefully.

We are getting ready to move and I finally did GRIND UP ALL my journals. Yep, and there were a fair number. Too much grief and sorrow there...and even a reader later would not understand...can you truly understand something you did not live or experience? Doubtful. And so...there was also a number of sins buried in that grinding. NO HUMAN will ever fully understand how I feel anyway. No way for them to without living my life. So no use to have any record. Yep, some good stuff was ground too...but later on, if it is important, it will come to mind again I figure. So you wonder, then what is worth keeping as in genealogy? Lots of photos for one...they do tell somewhat of a story...sometimes that is enough!
Elizabeth in NC

Debra said...

Sarah--sounds like you have some good plans going there. And I'm thinking God can give you some new, creative ideas about how to make your Today as memorable and nice as your Yesterday. :)

Elizabeth--Personally, God helps me understand others way more than genealogy ever could. Just as He gives me compassion and insight with strangers, He can do the same with my relatives. I no longer try figuring things out on my own in any area--I much more prefer listening to that still, small voice because wisdom is the key to everything in this life--and God has all wisdom. But thank-goodness, He's into sharing. :)

Thanks, Ladies!... Debra

Anonymous said...

I suppose it goes without saying, of course, anyone who disregards the still, small voice is headed for a world of hurt!! In more ways than one. I feel GOD gives people different things to enjoy in life. We are not all the same. I would go nuts if all I had to think about was what some folks do. I think GOD prefers a little variety. And there are things when I was younger that mattered to me, but not anymore. Many reasons for that...mainly as hubby does not enjoy them (I LOVED rearranging the house and decorating to some degree). But he likes things plain and spartan. Heh, still working on that spartan bit...but I focus my creativity in crocheting, sewing, cooking, writing a bit...
Elizabeth in NC