Find meaning, impact in remembrance

| March 9, 2017 | 1 Comment

Chaplain (Capt.) James R. Fryer
84th Engineer Battalion Chaplain

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — The respected Austrian neurologist and psychologist, whom also survived

Chaplain James Fryer

Chaplain James Fryer

the Holocaust, Viktor E. Frankl wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning that, “People tend to see only the stubble fields of transitoriness but overlook and forget the full granaries of the past into which they have brought the harvest of their lives: the deeds done, the loves loved, and last but not least, the sufferings they have gone through with courage and dignity.”

There is richness in reflecting on one’s life and history. The human mind has the amazing ability to reflect back on flashes of early childhood memories. Consider your earliest memory of jumping into a pile of leaves, the birth of a younger sibling, or your first family pet. Many times retrieving an early memory can be filled with joy and the experiences of something wonderful about life. At times, our memories may need healing or direction if we bare scars from the hurt or trauma of some kind from an earlier time in life.

In the Bible, God is described as the God of unbreakable promises. He instructs His people to often remember the many powerful and miraculous things that He had done for them. For example, in the Hebrew migration to the land that God had promised to them, the Lord instructed “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched are…” (Deut. 5:15)   The people of God were to remember their blessings received and how, in detailed ways, God had shown lavish favor towards them, protecting them and helping them.

Amazingly, in families with the blessing of parents and grandparents there is much to be taught and conveyed to the next generation. We have a treasure and a heritage of history often within our own extended families that can enrichen and encourage the generation that follows us. The knowledge and wisdom that God has blessed us with was meant to be imparted to our children and our grandchildren.

The impact of remembering the countless ways God has moved and helped us is revitalizing and strengthening to our hearts and minds. Moses repeatedly taught the Hebrew people to remember what God had done for them. They were to reflect back upon many generations. He exhorted the people, “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders and they will tell you.” (Deut. 32:7)

Wisely, the patriarch Moses taught the present generation with him to remember the days of old, so that the wisdom of ages past would be preserved, and the laws and teachings of God would not disappear forever. The meaning was significant: if the stories and memories of the mighty works of God were forgotten, the hope of the people would be lost.

Our current generations are still the gatekeepers to past knowledge and wisdom. As well, our generation and that of our children are the custodians of not only the good stories of our personal history, but also the mighty workings of God in the world of men.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Standing Columns

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  1. Matthew Wellwood says:

    Well said James! A great reminder not to get too bogged down in the minutiae of everyday life to think of our heritage until it’s too late to ask.

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