"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them."
I am now 44 years old. And in 44 years of living I have seen some things. I have experienced some things. I have taken some things to heart. Good things, even great things. Some not so great. Some even painful things. But all of them have taught me something - been formative in my life somehow. And yet it is easy for those things to retreat to the recesses of my brain.
Reading this verse this morning has caused some of those things to come flooding back. Things long forgotten until this gentle reminder. Many of these experiences would have to be considered foundational building blocks in my life. Times and places where I drove stakes into the ground that would steel my resolve to live for God and serve him forever.
Some of these experiences I would have to say were more like violent storms, tossing my ship about in the wind and the waves of life's great ocean. These were sometimes frightening and confusing, but coming through them to the calm on the other side of the storm made me stronger.
Then there were the outright enemy attacks. Temptation sometimes led to failure, but God's great grace always brought me back. Those lessons, though I would never recommend them, were invaluable in the shaping of healthy boundaries and good practices in my life until now.
Everything we experience - the jobs we do, the relationships we build, the hobbies we pick up, the way we are treated by others, and the way we treat others, the kids that we have, the god(s) that we serve...I could go on and on. It all shapes us somehow, and makes us who we are.
For those of us who serve the one and only true living God, we are encouraged in this verse today to watch ourselves closely and not forget - not forget what our eyes have seen, and maybe most importantly, not let them slip from our hearts. Then we are also to teach these life lessons to our kids (by the way, this part is the hardest).
Great advice. And a great reminder. Too often, these formative experiences slip from our hearts into the fog that is that past and we forget who we are, where we've come from and who it was that helped us to get here. Thank you God...for once again lifting the fog today. Thank you for the reminder that you've always been there, making me, forming me into who I am today. Help me to never forget all that you have brought me through and to pass it on the best way I can.