January 4: Day Eleven

Go to Day Ten

Memory is a powerful brain function and the way we use it is both limiting and transformative. When I consider moments in time, key decision points, or forks in the road, I wonder, “What if I had made a different choice.”

As I reflect back on my life, I often conclude that, in the end, no matter what choice I would have made, it would not have altered the outcome. I am who I am, and in the end I could never put up with the status quo; to have truly had a different life, I would have had to fall in line, something I simply can’t do.

When I think of Agustus Toplady’s strict view of predestination, of the irresistible nature of God’s grace, his arguments become more convincing. I am meant to be where I am today; it is my destiny.

I’ve been listening to Am I Losing Your Memory or Mine? performed by George Jones. He sings, “I’ll get over you, but I really don’t want to.” The beauty of the song is in the way Jones delivers it, and the fact that it is a love song to a memory.

She is gone. And now her memory is leaving too. Is that a failure in brain function, or is that last shimmer of her walking out the door as well. “I don’t know myself which memory is left,” Jones sings.

Should memory be overcome? Should we hold on to them for reference? Can we change the past with our memories of it? And if we could, would that change our present state?

The precious sadness of the past is nostalgia. But memories can be transformative too, a reminder that we are where we should be, that different choices don’t change our fundamental choice to be ourselves.

Go to Day Twelve