I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chance to hear landing gear slam into the runway, announcing your arrival back into your home country. It provokes the realization of an ending of a trip that seemed to have aged you three years in two weeks. It welcomes you back into your own little corner of the world, whether you like it or not.
Then, as it always is, the days pass all too quickly. Two months later you find yourself looking at a picture from that foreign land that made you feels things you didn’t know were possible and you internally ask yourself, “Did I really fly across the world? Are those friends really mine? Are these lessons more than just writing on a page? Did I actually live these stories?”
Just because something changes you, does not mean that you’ll stay grateful for it. You have to fight for remembrance and for thankfulness.
I believe that this is why God tells his people to make memorials, and then why Jesus has instructed us to partake of communion. Build something great, if it’s only for the reason that you’ll remember the process. If it’s only for the reason that you won’t forget the people that humbled your egotistical heart. You’ll remember what brought you into festivities after 40 years of grumbling. You’ll remember what tore the curtain and brought us into hope of a better country. You’ll remember why you don’t like to spend frivolous money like you did before. You’ll remember why you speak gentler. You’ll remember why you look up at airplanes with both nostalgia and anticipation. You’ll remember that there’s a bigger world out there past your driveway and it is beautiful.
So you can remember, and give back all the glory to the only One it belongs to.
It’s God way of giving you this guaranteed AHA moment when you look back at each step of the way: “Oh look. He’s brought me there and back again, protected me when I wasn’t watching, and changed me on the road.”
Don’t forget the things that have made you who you are. Don’t dismiss the thoughts that make you fearlessly smile into the face of your future. Even if digging into the memories is painful. Even if everyone else thinks you’re romanticizing something that happens everyday. Even if listening to that soundtrack or looking at one more picture makes you want to scream because you hate how much you love those moments that fleeted before you had the chance to realize the monstrosity of their impact.
Write it down anyway.
Hang that picture up anyway.
Build your memorials anyway.
Taste and see the goodness of a God who loves you, and is molding you into someone who He alone can make look more and more like His Son everyday.
Dare to remember.
Because who knows what He’ll do when you surrender your state-of-togetherness, in exchange for a more broken, homesick, compassionate heart.