Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Comforting Trip Down Nostalgia Lane

        As I sit here on my couch drinking my Cinnamon Apple tea I can't help but notice the aches in my back and shoulders from kneeling on the ground, digging through boxes that have remained at my Grandma Natalie's condo for the last five years. All the while finding many items, or as I like to think, treasures that I swore I would never see again. Treasures from the days of old that still seem to hold attachment, memories, times almost in another life. While digging there were a few different categories that I considered the different objects to be a part of those that were important and that I couldn't bare to part with, those that easily made their way to the trash, and those items that I had to ask myself a few times whether or not I would ever really use them or even consider them once I put them back into storage. In fact, while rummaging through some different boxes out in the garage my grandma decided to stay out there organizing and keeping em company and when explaining her method of getting rid of things said, "If I've gone without it or forgot about it for the last twenty- years, then why would I stick it in storage again only to find it twenty- years later?"

      As I continued going through the many boxes and bags it occurred to me that I was continually finding items that I had specifically thought of recently such as, my Yearbook from my senior year in high school, a banana nut candle; that has never been burned because I thought that if I burned it before that the scent would go away forever, and a book called,  "Always Sisters" to name a few. Now for some of you who have incredible memories, you're thinking, "Yes, so what of it?" And that is just it, I do not have an incredible memory and I haven't for years. I can barely remember birthdays, movie plots, and even names at times (unless I know you personally of course). So therefore, it is a wonder that I am able to remember specific objects, although these objects held onto dear memories for me. My senior year yearbook has a message written to me from my high school psychology teacher, Mr. McCarthy, who happened to be one of my favorite teachers because of the way that he encouraged me and was always cheering me up regardless of some of the stupid corners that I had backed myself into, he is part of the reason that I majored in psychology (aside from my desire to listen to and serve people) and when I went back to visit him a couple years after I graduated to tell him so he said, "Oh man, you must really be nuts, but good luck kid." At the end of his yearbook message he wrote "Live long and prosper". The banana- but candle probably helped spark an somewhat abnormal love that I have for candles, and scents in general, I know that as people we are generally drawn to something that peaks one of our senses and to many people smell can help take them back to memories and they can relate with those scents. Finally my "Always Sisters" book, it's interesting that I still remember bits and pieces of the stories that my mom would read to my sister Emily and I when we were younger and I can't remember the specific sisters but I remember one story where the sisters were so close and then one got very sick and she ended up passing away, that story made me cry when I was younger as I tried to comprehend the pain that the sister felt over losing her best friend and now as I write this my perspective is completely different. Yes, I lost my sister to cancer when she was 10 1/2 years old, and yes it was a very painful experience, I have no desire to mask those truths. However, over the years God has shown me the way to let go of her, trusting that she is now in His hands and with Him and that our parting is only temporary. The process of healing and learning God's truths is still happening and has been such a breath of fresh air and a comfort.

       Finally after three hours of rummaging, discarding, and pondering different areas of my past I found myself driving, trunk full, down the road that lead me to where I am today (literally). For many years I lived, worked, and went to school in El Cajon. When leaving my grandmas I took the road Madison, which lead me past my old high school, my first college, the road that leads up to Crest (where I grew up, in the house that my parents still live in). As I drove past Granite Hills High School I found myself asking, "God, where has my life gone?"  Here I am driving past the place I couldn't wait to get out of when I was in it, and now I'm really wondering why I was in such a hurry? Don't get me wrong, I have been living such a blessed life and I definitely would not trade it for high school again. My point is that so often we find ourselves in a place that we cannot wait to get out of, but when we look back we start to see the good and the fond memories, even if they are few. We start to realize that it really wasn't that bad, it just seemed like it in the moment.

      It may sounds silly using the cliche "Time moves faster the older you get." or feeling so far ahead in my years considering that I am only 22 however, God had an answer for me and he brought up the verse James 4:14, which says, "14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away." Ah yes, I am a vapor, my life on earth is not meant to last forever and eventually my time here will come to an end, am I really doing everything that I should be with it?

    Amazing that so often we get caught up int he moment, troubled over the smallest things when our life is but a vapor, disappearing at any time, and yet so many of us live as though we have all of the time in the world. We pass up golden opportunities, we put off a command from God, we get lazy and apathetic thinking that our open doors will remain open, and we miss out on all of the adventure and blessings that have been placed before us! My friends, do not miss out on what is waiting for you!  "An opportunity has an expiration date" as our Pastor Mark Hoffman says. So what will you choose to do? Will you take hold of the opportunities given to you? Are you currently doing so, then press on friend! Persistence is key, as Paul said in Philippians 3:14 "14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Sorry for the tangent, this matter has been a subject of importance to me and I myself feel the need to step it up and to take full advantage of the time that God has given me on this earth. Anyways, good night to all and be blessed my friends and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and input.

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