Remembering life-giving relationships from our past is to remember God’s love for us in sending just the right person, at just the right time, to do just the right thing we needed. It’s a Memorial Day to remember. This episode shows how.
I don’t know if they have something like this in other countries, but in America the last Monday of May is a national holiday to honor the men and women who gave their lives in service to our country. It began after our Civil War in the 1860’s when it was called “Decoration Day.” We now call it Memorial Day. A day to remember. It’s an important day here in the US. And this year in 2019, it’s coming up in 5 days on Monday, May 27th.
The day is a reminder that people who have gone before us sacrificed their lives for the benefit of those who came after them. It’s the ultimate form of caring for others. Giving your life for the sake of another.
I must confess I rarely think about this, even on Memorial Day. I usually think instead of having off a day off from work, and getting together with friends and family for the first cook-out of the season. It’s the unofficial beginning of summer.
But this year I want it to be different. I certainly want to reflect on, and be grateful for, the sacrifice soldiers have made for all of us in America. I want to imagine what life would be like, for example, if we had lost WWII.
But for our listeners living in the 32 countries outside of the United States, I’d like all of you to enjoy a Memorial Day, too. I’d like all of us, no matter where we live, to enjoy a day to remember. Here’s how we can do this.
While the American Memorial Day is about honoring soldiers who died in battle to make our lives better than they otherwise would have been, let’s initiate an international Memorial Day to honor relationships from our past that have made our lives better. And let’s honor these relationships simply by reflecting upon them, and remembering what these relationships did to bless us.
[Story of my missionary friend, Ken, who once used my snowblower to clear 6-7 inches of snow from my driveway. Audio version only]
For you our listeners, though, I have a few suggestions for people you could remember. I’ll just read off a list, which I’ll include in a link to n my web site.
So here goes, here are some people you could remember from the past who in some way, made your life better. You could remember the person who:
- Gave you money when you really needed it
- Took the blame for something you did, either as a child or an adult
- Believed in you when others didn’t, or when you didn’t believe in yourself
- Loved you even when you were unlovable
- Taught you how to read. Imagine life today if you didn’t know how to read
- Let you off the hook for something you did
- Forgave you
- Gave you you a job when others would not hire you
- Was silent when they had every right to chew you out for something you did
- Was a role model for you
- Told you tough things you needed to hear
- Took your side, when everyone else was against you
- Listened to you
- Set their needs aside to meet your needs
- Loved you unconditionally
- Let you win an argument, even though they were right and you were wrong
- Brought out the best in you
- Chose not to believe the gossip they heard about you
- Asked for your help
- Gave you hope when you had none yourself
- Invited you to dream
- Wanted to hear about your kids and grand kids
- Rejoiced with you in the things you were rejoicing about
- Mourned with you when you were mourning
- Let you talk on and on, without ever shifting the spotlight of the conversation on to them
- Sat in the crowded back seat of the car so you could sit up front
So why do this? Why have your own private Memorial Day, absent any parades, cemetery visits, or speeches by politicians?
We do this because it is so easy to forget the blessings of past relationships. It’s a product of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. We so easily forget. And it’s not so much forgetting where we put the car keys, it’s forgetting people and what they did to bless us and encourage us when times may have been difficult for us. It’s forgetting how God used our relationship with others to care for us. To love us.
So by taking a day to pause and remember the blessings of our relationships, we acknowledge God’s love for us by sending just the right people, at just the right time, to do just the right thing that we needed. It’s a Memorial Day to remember.
Before I close, here’s the he main take-away from today’s episode, our show in a sentence
Remembering the blessings from past relationships, gives us hope that God will use other relationships to bless us now, and into the future.
Here’s an action you can take in response to today’s show
You can make the upcoming Memorial Day the best ever.
Ask God to remind you of a person or two from your past who blessed you in some small or large way. Maybe they extended you an act of kindness. Maybe it was something they said to you in passing. Perhaps it was someone who really connected with you by speaking your love language when you needed that connection most. And then ask God to remind you of His involvement in the whole process. You’ll know on your own what to do next.
Relationship Quote of the Week
I am carried on the shoulders of those who cannot see the landscape I describe. I owe them far more than my weight. ~ Betty Barnett
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Finally, make this coming Memorial Day a day to remember. To remember that You Were Made for This – life-giving, fulling relationships. We’re here together to learn how. See you next week. Good bye for now.
Resources mentioned in today’s show