Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Orange Slices And God-thoughts

Isn't it funny how our minds work (or sometimes don't)?
Usually by this time in the Christmas season, I have begun to take a long journey back through Christmas past. Revisiting old times and old thoughts. My nephews death has awakened me to the fact of how important time really is. I'm not to waste it on myself. I'm called to be a servant to family, friends, and even those I meet that  do not know.

This journey through memory land is not so much in a year by year listing of what happened, as it is images and fleeting thoughts of something someone said or a song that I remember. This morning, as I was pondering Scripture about what to put on the posting, out of nowhere came the thought....."orange slices".
Orange slices? Yeah, you know....those little jellied candies coated in sugar made in the shape of an orange slice (hence the name...boy those Madison Avenue guys are sharp aren't they?).

This was the "chosen" candy of the Bynum household as I was growing up. But the only time we ever got them was during Christmas. It was my mom's favorite candy. Usually during a trip downtown (remember when you shopped downtown?) we would find ourselves either in W.T. Grants or Sears & Roebuck Department stores. Each had the most wonderful candy counters that you could imagine. Rows upon rows of treats all waiting to be scooped up and weighed out for your convenience.  My mom was a stickler when it came to orange slices. They had to be fresh. Anything less than that made the simple act of eating them somewhat like chewing roofing tar.

Those simple candies that we purchased year after year, were the center of many incredible memories that come to my mind. It is almost as if God files certain memories about my mom, about Christmas in the "O" Drawer, "O" being orange slices.
God's ability to create us with such a powerful gift as memories is one more reason that evolution is such a "hinky" science. I bet that was a first. The first time hinky and science have been used in the same sentence.

We are called to remember in Scripture.
To remember what Christ has done for us.

To remember the price that was paid so we can enjoy the freedom and liberty of this new life we have in Christ.
To remember the promises, yet unfulfilled, that God has spoken. He is a God of His word, isn't He? I think so.

Why remember?
Because these simple slices of our past, neatly tucked away in our minds, can keep us grounded and focused on where we have come from, where we are today, and where He is taking us tomorrow.

On the other side, the devil can use memories as a weapon against us.
He can dredge up those dark memories of things gone wrong and, if we ponder them, can keep us weighed down by guilt,shame and fear.

Wouldn't it be great if when we are saved, that God would wipe our memories clean of all the bad we have said and done? Well, He doesn't. But I always try to encourage the men in treatment that what God is capable of doing is pretty incredible. Through our confession, repentance and acceptance of His forgiveness, God takes those dark memories and removes the emotions from them. In other words, I can have a memory of something I did in the past that caused great pain to myself and others, but it simply is a memory....none of the emotional baggage that it usually brings. Why? Because as I'm having the memory, I am reminded of the work that Christ has done in me and for me. I am reminded that that is the old me. That person is dead and gone through my salvation. Now if that doesn't set you on fire, then your wood is wet!

Merry Christmas from the "B's" in Attalla.

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