Yesterday, a song from 1970 began to play on my Pandora account while Jan and I sat in our living room working on our computers. The song was, Wild World by Cat Stevens. When the song started, we both smiled and turned to look at each other. The song sparked a journey down memory lane from the time when we first met in Portland, Oregon. It also triggered memories of long walks to Laurelhurst Park and drives up the Columbia River Gorge to Crown Point.
When the song finished and we went back to working on our computers, that memory took me to other places in my memory that God wanted me to visit. In those places, I gave thanks for some things and in one case, was reminded of a commitment I made of something I did not want to forget.
We have the ability to make our life of faith into something otherworldly to somehow validate the experience. In reality, God can use any and everything to remind us of His goodness. He will take us back to memories that affirm the choices He asked us to make or He will use our memories to help direct us into the future. Whenever and however God chooses to speak to us is always a supernatural event.
Forty-eight years ago, as two college kids just getting to know each other while listening to Cat Stevens and Elton John, we wondered where our relationship would journey. The memories of that time have always reminded us of God’s faithfulness and mercy. A lot of life has been lived in those intervening years. We have had sorrow, joy, hope, and despair and every other human emotion you could imagine. In the middle of it all, God was always there loving and encouraging us. Our redeemed memories will always contain a reminder of God’s goodness, even the memories sparked with a song by Cat Stevens.
Today, when a song plays, or a fragrance passes by, and old memories come to visit, follow their invitation to the places and people that were part of the memory. Some of you will arrive at a painful past. Others will find joy. No matter what greets you at the destination of your memory, you were taken there to see that God never left you or abandoned you. He was always there loving and encouraging. That is the sweetest recollection you will discover on a journey down memory lane.