I have stopped to reflect this morning on a conversation I had yesterday. I spoke to the parent of a past friend and I must say when the conversation was over the one thing I knew for sure was that merely “turning the page” or “closing that chapter” of my life wasn’t enough. Nope. Sometimes you have to take it a step further. I’m not talking about a Fahrenheit 451 (an interesting book) type situation. Okay, let me outline this a bit better…
Many times we refer to our past relationships, associations and friendships as chapters. In what we can say is the book called “Our Past.” And often times people say really cliche’ things like “but the past behind you,” “close that chapter” or “put that book back on the shelf .” But truth be told (and this isn’t just for me) sometimes those chapters don’t even need to remain in existence. Like seriously! They need to be bound in a compilation book entitled “The Past: Unabridged,” placed on top of a roaring fire and BURNT.TO.ASHES! I don’t think merely burning them up is acceptable because things can be burnt up and put back together with the right tools and effort. Nope. I’m talking incinerated to dust that is blown in the wind never to exist again. Sounds kinda drastic right? But let me ask this question: where do you store all those chapters of hurt, pain, break-up, betrayal, depression, deceit, sin, and disappointment while you try to follow along with the volumes of your life currently being written called “The Present” and the chapters yet to be published called “The Future?”
You see, what we keep we have to potential to pick back up. And biblically, carrying the burden of our past is a disgrace to the grace of God. Because when we repent (and I say when not if because if you have accepted Christ, there shouldn’t be a day
Keeping those old chapters on the shelf in our minds and hearts means that when certain situations arise, we can go to the shelf, pull them down, blow off the dust and fall right back into the mire of the past. When we decide that what’s done is done and we will no longer allow the past to deflect from the gift of our present and the great (and potentially not so amazing) things to come in the future…then something must happen. Merely making a decision doesn’t execute change, we must do something! So my challenge for you until we meet again is to blow off those chapters of your past, even the hidden and subtly sneaky ones, light a fire and burn them to ashes.
Okay need a more literal translation? Delete those numbers, unfollow and block that person, get rid of those old gifts and pictures, or make that one last phone call and then change your number. But eliminate the ties to whatever in your past has you bound. It WILL be painful at first, you might cry, you might get angry all over again but the only way a wound can heal is to open the sore so the infection can escape. Only then can the body begin to heal and repair itself. Same is true with matters of the heart. Trust me, while I’m a crybaby, the pain of healing is much more bearable than the pain of chronic flare ups that occur when you don’t treat it properly in the beginning.
I’ve moved from books, to The Bible, to medical analogies (that I hope make sense) but the point of it all is that memories serve a purpose but some things need not continue to exist in our lives…burn those books!