The Memories We Choose to Keep…

“There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going…”

Name that movie!

Did you guess?

It’s the creepy boat ride through the tunnel song from Willy Wonka that terrifies adults and kids to this day. My family prefers the 1971 version with Gene Wilder. The retro vibe adds to the creep factor. If you don’t know it, you may not want to…

We went to the mountains recently. Without fail, at each tunnel entrance, Henry would start this haunting tune and continue for the duration of the tunnel. The chilling shriek from the song’s end would greet the light of day as we emerged.

You would think this would get old, but honestly, it just got funnier each time.

It occurred to me that moving forward, we will always remember Henry singing the creepy boat song when we go through tunnels. Isn’t that how memories are made? Experiences meld with emotions and they become part of the memory bank.

Other things happened this weekend as well, but will those memories be able to top the tunnel singing?

How do you filter your memories? What determines what sticks?

Is it the happy memories? The funny memories? The aggravating memories?

What become the stories that we tell over and over again until those who weren’t even there feel like they were?

Was this the weekend we saw the prettiest fall colors we’ve ever seen up in the mountains?

Was this the weekend Henry would not leave a dog alone that someone had brought to the food event and we had to leave early?

Was this the weekend I overshot what I thought Henry was capable of managing in terms of over-stimulation, and I felt that familiar and heavy blanket of defeat and failure?

Or, was it the weekend Henry sang the Willy Wonka song over and over each time we went though a tunnel?

How do you filter life and memories?

I have found that where I allow my mind to dwell becomes the foundation from which experiences become memories. Am I focusing on how I felt like a failure? Am I focusing on the joy we had as a family together? One becomes a vortex of shame and angst while the other becomes a fountain of joy.

I’m going with the tunnel singing.

The Bible tells us in Isaiah 26:3, “the steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”

These are words of truth. They can keep us grounded and focused on where we need to be and what is best for us for the moment and the long haul. Keeping an eternal perspective keeps us above the fray and affirms our faith that we are not on our own.

I pray these words are an encouragement to you to be steadfast in the faith that God is for you and calling you to peace in the everyday, the special moments, and the memories you choose to hold close.

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