As I type this I am sitting in the Way Cup Cafe teaching a class on “Writing Your Spiritual Autobiography”.  They are trying to remember significant events in their lives, while I chit-chat with you.  Whenever I teach this class I start by giving a good reason for remembering.  So often people either people don’t want to remember, or get so busy that they don’t have time to remember.

Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”  I think it’s probably a pretty good point.  If we go through life without ever really trying to make sense of where we’ve come from, where we are, and where we’d like to go in the future, we will experience our lives very superficially or devoid of meaning altogether.  It’s unimaginable that this is the sort of life Jesus is inviting us to.  The promise of the gospel requires an engaged and thoughtful consideration of our lives.

Remembering also helps us see and embrace the sovereignty of God in our lives.  When we take the time to patiently examine our lives, we discover that God has been there.  And it is this simple discovery that offers a providential awareness to our lives.  It is the simple recognition of the hand of God that moves us from randomness to order, from confusion to perseverance.  We certainly will not know what every detail of our life means, but we can learn to trust that God understands and, even more importantly, that God will be there to care.  In this sense a gracious recognition from our past frees us up to live faithfully in the present and future.

Remembering helps us see that the early years played a significant role in the unique shaping of who we have become.  The critical incidents of our past have contributed to the way we respond to the events, relationships, and inner challenges of the present.

That’s what I told them.  Thanks to Vantagepoint3 for helping me think through these things.

Good fortune in examining your life, friends.

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