We tried a new church today, and they had a fellowship meal after the service. We stayed, getting to talk to some of the people and ask questions about the beliefs, standards, etc., of the church. My youngest brother was, of course, being way too loud (being only one year old, with a short attention span) and disturbing good conversation, so I was volunteered to take him outside and let him walk around.
I took him to the field next to the little fellowship hall to let him play. And that’s when I remembered the last time I took my brother out to play in a church field. It was at home in Texas, and I still remember the particular Sunday.
I was flipping through old church notes during the service at this church today, and got reminded of a lot of those last sermons at my church in Texas. The last time I heard one particular speaker, the last time I ever heard one man talk about a certain topic.
On the drive to the church today, I was recalling good memories of times at my old church. Those inside jokes that are still lasting, laughs I shared with people, and those serious talks late into those Sunday nights after church. The one-on-one talks over the dining room table at a friend’s house. Long talks at night in my driveway. Connections I made then that are no longer inexistence today, that I miss so much now.
And I realized today what I was doing. Instead of treasuring these memories, I was reliving them. I’ve been living in those memories. I’ve lingered in the past, instead of letting go and moving forward.
Is there something wrong with reliving good memories? Yes.
It’s not wrong to treasure memories, and look back on them and remember how much they meant to you. But you have to be able to look back. You have to have moved forward before you can do so. That means you have to have let go.
I am *the* worst person to talk about letting go. I hold what once was in my fists sooo tightly, that I’m missing something very, very important: what is now. When I keep my eyes fixed on the things that used to be, I’m missing what’s going on right now in my life. When I look at the good things I had in one chapter of my life, I’m missing the chapter God’s writing before my very eyes that I’m living out day to day, and all the good things that come with it.
I’ve heard it said: “Don’t look back; that’s not where you’re going.” I’ve had to remind myself of that through this move. I so badly want things to go back the way before, so I relive those moments that are now memories, wishing things could change. But they can’t, and that is okay. I have to keep going, because the God that blessed me then is the same God who is blessing me now. I can’t look back and live in my past anymore. I have to let go and move on. And that same, unchanging God will be with me every step of the way.