When our son was just a wee little lad, his Grandma Lloyd gave him a teddy bear. At the time, he was about seven months old and quarantined in a hospital because he was diagnosed with spinal meningitis. (God healed him, and there were no complications!)
For about a year the bear went without a name.
One evening he and I decided it was time for his friend to have a name.
After mentioning a few, I suggested he name the bear Bosco. He thought I said Froggo, and the name stuck.
We had a little ritual each evening at bedtime. After we read a nighttime children’s devotional and said our prayers, and before Jeremy was tucked in bed, he would toss Froggo over the rail of his crib into the bed. We’d laugh and laugh. Then I’d pick him up, put him in bed, and his mom and I would tell him goodnight and say, “I love you”, as we closed the door and turned out the light.
Memories. Precious memories.
That was at least 35 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday.
I thought about those memories the other day when I saw Froggo sitting in our son’s old rocking chair.
Memories of Froggo bring a smile to my face, and a warm feeling to my heart. But I have some memories that can cause me to react in a very different manner; if I let them linger.
Perhaps you do as well.
Isn’t it something how memories can be hidden away for years, but all of a sudden something will trigger a switch in our mind and we start reliving the past?
It doesn’t matter if they’re good memories or bad ones. They’re all saved for further review, whether we like it or not.
Our memory bank is somewhat like a movie production studio. The movie slate, the clapboard, is snapped shut and the scene begins with us as the director. We run it over and over, reliving the memory as it rolls on and on.
Some scenes we’ll replay, after changing the script a little in order to make sure we’re still the star. We have an uncanny way of remembering how right we were and how wrong others were.
And with us holding the scissors, we can cut and splice the video any way we like.
But that’s where we can get into trouble.
Some folks have wasted their lives by playing the old tapes over and over and over. Good or bad, right or wrong, no one can live in the past.
I believe that’s one reason Paul wrote:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8 ESV)
As well as:
“…But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14 ESV)
I enjoy the memories of our little boy and his bear, Froggo. But I can’t live there. Froggo is basically the same, but our son isn’t.
And neither am I.
May I suggest something to you? The next time your memory bank is turned on, and your mind starts downloading scene after ugly scene before your mind’s eye, how about doing yourself a favor?
Then calmly get up out of your director’s chair and look again at Paul’s words…
“Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and/or excellent…”
In other words, replay things that won’t poison your insides while you take a trip down memory lane.
Like good ol’ Froggo.