It is one of the most underestimated, least utilized, and yet most powerful tools we have for survival in the tough times. What is it? Our memory. In a Science Digest article entitled “The Magic of Memory,” Laurence Cherry says: “Our memories are probably our most cherished possessions. More than anything else we own, they belong uniquely to us, defining our personalities and our views of the world. Each of us can summon thousands of memories at will: our first day at school, a favorite family pet, a summer house we loved.” Oscar Wilde had all this in mind when he said, “Memory is the diary that we all carry about in us.” And the German writer Jean Paul Richter said, “Our memory is the only paradise out of which we cannot be driven.”
Happy memories can be a paradise for us in difficult times, which is why it is so important to build happy memories with our families and loved ones when we have the opportunity – on mid-tour leave, in-between deployments, on four-day weekends (when we get to observe them). Too often we opt for more “practical and profitable” uses of our time or we dismiss such family fun times as unnecessary. But having a treasury of pleasant experiences stashed away in our memories will sustain us and our marriages through the grinding tough times. James Matthew Barrie once explained: “God gives us memory so that we may have roses in December.” The Scripture says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything is praiseworthy, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, grant me the wisdom to build a storehouse of happy memories with my family and friends that my memory may serve as a paradise into which I may find relief. Amen.