Memories.  What do you remember?  Are they your memories or are they the memories that others have told you about?

I believe that we are defined by our experiences in life.  Some of those experiences, however, are overshadowed by how we remember the event.  Or how someone else has told us the event occurred.

No matter what actually occurs, if you have a group of people who are discussing a shared event, they will have different memories of what happened.  No one is lying or being deceptive, but our brain catches things that someone else’s brain doesn’t.

An example is an occurrence when I was a child.  I was probably 10 or 12 and my niece would have been 7 or 9.  We lived in the middle of the first block of a street that was two blocks long.  There was a horse stable at the end of the second block.  One night there was a storm.  I guess it was a pretty serious one, but I don’t remember that.  What I and my niece remember is the sound of horses screaming when the stables caught fire.  That is our shared memory of that event.  We do not remember anything except the screaming of the horses.  My sister, who is 15 years older than I am, remembers a ball of fire bouncing down the street.  She doesn’t remember the sound of the horses.

When I think of that event, I can see that because of a difference in ages and responsibilities, my sister and I focused on different things.  Who knows?  Because she was an adult who had to be sure to take care of children, maybe her focus was on the storm and what was happening outside so she saw the fire.  I was a child who was just doing my own thing until that piercing sound went through me.  Because as a child, the sound of an animal screaming because there is fire all around it, is something that penetrates the head clutter.

Since our focuses were different, because we were different, the event left different memories.  However, as an adult, when talking about this event with my sister describing the fire bouncing down the road, I can sometimes see that picture in my mind.  Now, I don’t know if I actually saw it at the time and forgot it or if I am only seeing now because it was described to me.

This makes me wonder about other experiences, other memories.  Are they mine or someone else’s?

In our relationship with the Lord, we have to define what our experience, our truth is.  No one can get by on what someone else believes.  No matter how many times we hear missionaries tell of God’s protection and provision, no matter how many times our parents or grandparents tell of God’s redemptive love, or how often we hear the preacher talk of “snatching souls from hell to populate heaven” can we let that be our only experience with God.  Each one must make a personal decision to accept Jesus as Savoir and then walk with Him.

In the third chapter of John, Jesus tells Nicodemus that a person must be “born again”—born of the Spirit in order to see the Kingdom of Heaven. And then in John 14:6, Jesus says that no man can go to the Father except through Him.  Meaning, that Jesus really is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Each person must come to an individual relationship with Jesus.  That relationship starts by turning from our sins, ourselves, the world and turning to the Truth that is Jesus.  You then must ask Jesus to come into your heart and make you a new creature.  Becoming a follower of Jesus is a deliberate act.  NO ONE will ever come into fellowship and relationship with Jesus by accident.  NO ONE can follow on the coattails of others.  Just because your daddy was the preacher and you sat on the front pew your whole life, you still have to “walk down the aisle and give your heart to Jesus”.

Are you relying on the memories of salvation and the experience of forgiveness from others?

If there is anyone reading this who needs to have that close relationship with Jesus and wants someone to pray with you, please leave a comment and we will get with you.  Jesus is waiting for all to come to Him.

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