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Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Eternal Footprint in the Sands of Time

We are in danger of being buried under a mountain of memorabilia. At least, we are in my house. We have photo albums of adorable, wonderful pictures. We have journals tracing my spiritual journey over thirty years. We have letters from school, to school, from Africa, from China, from America, Japan, Russia... and to all these places. We have ticket stubs for memorable events. Stamp albums from old aunties. Books and more books.

I tried to declutter a bit this morning but find it incredibly hard to know what to discard. Memories are tied to things and they are hard to jettison. It’s also hard to know what might be important or valued by those who follow us. Will they thank us for these stacks of stuff when we die? 

Years ago on a visit to Turkey we saw the earthquake-destroyed rubble of a tomb to Julia, a prominent Roman woman living in Hierapolis 2000 years ago. She quoted the Roman law by which anyone desecrating her tomb would be prosecuted. We had a laugh as we considered the heap of stones which time and tremor had reduced the elaborate tomb to. 

I guess Julia just had a desire to be remembered. Her life had significance and she didn’t want to disappear off the face of the earth and have nobody remember her.

Perhaps that’s our inner instinct too, for holding on to all this memorabilia. Perhaps it’s a silent fear of being forgotten. Of having those events which have been most significant in our lives be lost, forever insignificant after all.

Whatever I cling on to now will inevitably be lost, destroyed or otherwise disposed of over time. This is the place where rust consumes and everything returns to dust eventually.

So grateful that the love of God doesn’t grow cold. That God will never have Alzheimer’s but will always remember who we are. We don’t need to strive for memorials. Our times are in His hands, and they are safe. Nothing else matters.

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