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. That’s why it’s so important to build happy memories. 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 even dismiss such family fun times as unnecessary.
But having a treasury of pleasant experiences are important. When 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 things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things,” (Philippians 4:8, New King James Version).
Dear Father in heaven, grant me the wisdom to build a storehouse of happy memories. Memories with my family and friends that my memory may serve as a paradise into which I may find relief. Amen.