Memory

I may be losing my mind. See, like you, every day I’m getting older. And every day I lose another little section of my mind. My short term memory has taken the biggest hit, if you don’t count the receding hairline. Lately I’ve been forgetting things, lots of things. Things like my car keys or my wallet, or pants. And as it turns out, pants are important, especially if your goal is to avoid arrest.

Sometimes I’ll look in the pantry for a specific food that I was really excited about. But once I open the door and see all of the choices, I can’t remember what it was I was craving. In fact, I’m not even sure why I opened the door at all. So I usually settle for an Oatmeal Cream Pie.

Other times I’ll call someone and realize that I have no idea who I called or why I called them. This usually happens right around the time they answer the phone. Then I’ll say something like, “Hey man…just seeing if you wanted to grab lunch sometime”, and then my Grandma will say, “Drew, it’s 3 am and I’m not a man…but I would love to fix you lunch…we have leftovers.”

It’s not an overstatement to say that I’m slightly concerned about my mental lapses. See, in my family we have a tradition – when you get old, you go crazy. The family tree is full of memory loss and generally crazy behavior, a path I see myself going down, like on those commercials about retirement with the green line. Perhaps I should take some sort of action. Maybe I should start filling out crossword puzzles, or turn off the TV and read a book. Maybe I should fight for my mind, for my memory. Because if I don’t, it’s only a matter of time before I’m heavily medicated and in a recliner, reciting lines from Jurassic Park to myself.

Memories are complicated. The mind is complex. What we do is solely based on what we think and believe and remember.

I used to have trouble with my mind and with my memories. It’s a battle I’m still fighting, but now from a better position, with more help behind me. And I think there are lots of other people fighting this battle too. Fear is a funny thing. Once it’s in your thoughts, well, it’s hard to think about anything else. It’s hard not to ponder the worst case scenarios, or wonder what other people are thinking about you. It’s easy to miss opportunities with all this fear in our heads, to pass up chances we know we should take. So, we have to fight, right? I mean we can’t just keep settling for Oatmeal Cream Pies. We can’t just rock back and forth in a recliner wishing we were Jeff Goldblum.

In the Bible, Jesus told us not to fear a lot of times. Maybe more than any other command, I’m not sure, I didn’t go to Bible College. He said we should fight for our minds. And what I’ve learned is, the best way to fight is to remember. See, fear is like aging, it slowly erases our memories. We start to forget things, things like what’s been done for us, who is with us, and what He says about us. It’s not that we don’t know the truth, it’s just that we can’t remember, because our focus is elsewhere.

I’m discovering that the fight for our minds begins with remembering. It starts with recalling the facts. When we remember who is with us, we begin to feel like we can face anything. When we remember what He says and thinks about us, we’re more secure, and the things that other people say and think aren’t so important anymore. When we remember what’s been done for us, we’re grateful, we say things like “thank you” instead of “why?”. See, the battle for our mind is really just a re-building process. It’s a process we can choose. When we choose to remember the truth about us, we can win, we can do anything, we can open the door and finally realize what it was we were craving so badly.

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Categories: I Digress

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