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“I thank my God every time I remember you.” (Philippians 1:3 NIV)

As you grow older, you experience more loss.  Memories become all you have left of people you love.  Physical mementos are reminders of times past.  Praising God for shared moments is natural.   If we didn’t love deeply, we wouldn’t grieve deeply.

“It’s so much darker when a light goes out than it would have been if it had never shone.  John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

Early in my dating relationship with my husband, he won another piece of my heart with these words: “You’re worth the risk.”  His heart knew the pain I could cause him.  He was willing to take the chance.   He understood that when we invest our lives in someone else’s, the potential for pain increases. But the light they shine into your life, no matter how briefly, is better than not seeing it at all.

Let the light shine.

Don’t avoid relationships to avoid pain.  As Christ-followers, we are meant to live in community with others:

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 NIV)

Once we experience a heartbreaking loss, self-protection kicks in by kicking people out.  Hurting people hurt others; we’re all suffering in some way.  Instinctively, we think if we stay away from people, we can avoid pain.  That thought is a lie.  People help us heal as we allow them to love us in our pain.  Repairing our brokenness requires opening ourselves up to the light of others.

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” (John 1:4 NIV)

Jesus is the light that shines through people.  Each one is shining differently.  As we journey through life, the amount of time differs with each person.  Some will travel your entire life with you, others a brief moment.  No matter how large the flame, it travels with you forever.  No two torches burn identically; every memory unique.

We can’t avoid the pain of loss, but we can embrace the joy of life.  Live in the moment and cherish the people God gives you.  Work to create memories that will last a lifetime.

For my 51st birthday, we created a memory.  We rode our bikes 52 miles, splitting it between two days.  One mile for each year, one for good measure.  Friends went with us; we spent the night in Richmond.  Everything about those 24 hours is memorable, from the beautiful scenery and good conversations to Poe’s Pub and Church Hill St.  All of us carry those moments with us the rest of our lives, no matter where we go.

Create moments in life not quickly forgotten.  No one knows the length of life’s journey. Thank God for the memories you have, and those yet to come.

Question of the Day:

How can you create a memorable moment today?

Further Reading: Isaiah 57:15-59:21NIV, Philippians 1:1-26 NIV, Psalm 71 NIV, Proverbs 24:9-10 NIV

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