Did you see the guy making the rounds on the morning TV shows recently who could remember what happened on almost any given date? Toss out a month, day, and year, and he’d fire back with uncanny accuracy a list of the major events and news headlines for that particular date.
I don’t need to tell you that most folks can’t do that. I think I’m worse at it than most. A pastor, I’ll never rag on folks for forgetting sermons because Sundays roll around so often I can barely remember myself what I preached on a week ago, much less what my sermon was about on, say, March 7, 1994. (Was that even a Sunday? The guy I mentioned above would know for sure, but I don’t care enough to look it up.)
Someone once told writer Philip Gulley that “we don’t remember days, we remember moments.” I seem to have trouble remembering anything, but I think he’s right. The moment-thing seems to jive with my own experience.
I couldn’t tell you the date when, as pre-teens with inquiring minds, my younger brother and I almost burned down the garage experimenting with minor home-mixed explosives. But I remember it pretty vividly.
Somewhere I’ve got the date written down—it’s an important one—but I’d have to look it up: the date when my father baptized me at our home church in Amarillo. I remember going out to Bob Dowell’s Restaurant for burgers afterward.
I don’t remember the date when I first kissed the gal who would become my wife. But I remember we were in front of Tim & Mary Lou Forrest’s house in Amarillo, and, unusually spiritually-minded, we had been to a church youth event. (I don’t seem to remember the theme.) I do remember it was a good kiss, one I thought worth repeating.
I don’t remember the dates when on more than a few summer occasions our family journeyed down to Camp Wood to stay at the Roaring Springs Ranch where Ivan & Lenga Woodard lived. And I do indeed remember the moments chasing crawdads underwater and snorkeling and diving at the best swimming hole in the world. I remember the sun on my back and the smiles on the faces of my sons. I don’t remember the dates, but I remember the fishing rock and the bobbers going under and the perch we pulled out. I don’t remember the date, but I remember chasing the furry critter out of the loft in the cabin one afternoon since my wife seemed unwilling to let him spend the night.
I remember the births of my sons, and I remember the dates because I’ve worked at it. But most vividly I remember the moments they took their first breaths and all of our lives changed forever.
Some dates are worth remembering. But probably more important is just living life each day thanking God for the moments.