Instant replays. Silly jokes. Favorite stories.
Oh sure, we may roll our eyes at the 200th telling… unless of course we’re the one doing the telling.
When you’re reminiscing with a friend, the stories just get better with age. The memory can take you back until you can see it, taste it, feel it. The retelling is not just a retelling, it’s a reliving. There is power in memory, and there is power in sharing that memory.
It’s easy to get swept up in our day to day and miss out on opportunities to recall important milestone. God knows this, which is why He set a precedent of commemoration. On the night of the Passover as the Israelites were being delivered out of Egypt, God told Moses and all the Israelites, “This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you are to celebrate it as a festival to the Lord… And when your children ask you, “What does this ceremony mean to you?” then tell them… (Exodus 12:14,26-27)
Many other times throughout the early history of Israel God established appointed feasts and annual celebrations. When Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, God instructed them to take 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan River and set them in their camp as a permanent memorial. God told them, “In the future, when your children ask you ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them…” (Joshua 4:6)
Indeed, some stories are worth repeating.
Maybe we have never witnessed anything like the plagues of Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. Maybe we have never moved from a physical desert into a land flowing with milk and honey. But we may have our own stories to tell. Times there was a near accident avoided, a relationship that was healed, a seeming impossible barrier that came tumbling down, a word, a friend, a provision when we needed it most.
Every one of us has a story we can tell. A memorial marker that we should erect so that we have occasion to repeatedly recall and share what God has done in our own history. These recollections draw us ever nearer to God, and grow our sense of wonder and gratitude.
Here in the United States we are entering into the season of Thanksgiving. It is a time to commemorate not just the history of gratefulness dating back to that first Thanksgiving, but a reminder to reflect on our own stories. Take this opportunity, like a festival to the Lord or a memorial marker you have erected, to recall what God has done and continues to do for you and those you care about. Share one of you own stories with someone else, and seek out stories from others.
Write a letter, make a phone call.
God knew what He was doing when He established the model to regularly remember and share. We need to keep alive those moments when God’s presence was most dear and most imminent for us. We shouldn’t limit these memories to only an annual Thanksgiving recollection, but Thanksgiving is an excellent time to stir up our gratitude as we recall what God has done.
However you choose to do it, put God’s stories – and your gratitude – on repeat.