4 Reminders from a Walk Down Memory Lane
Six years and seven months had passed since we loaded the moving truck and drove away from our first home as husband and wife. We called Fort Collins, Colorado home for our first two years of marriage. And just days ago we visited this blessed place for the first time since moving.
Fort Collins is this fantastic town that sits at the base of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. During the time we lived there it was ranked the fourth best place to live in America. Part of Disneyland’s Main Street was designed after Fort Collins’ Old Town. Quaint. Charming. Beautiful. These words accurately describe this town we once called home.
Visiting places we have lived is always a nostalgic experience. No matter if the actual experience was good or bad, happy or sad, there is something special about seeing the spaces that used to be our usuals-the grocery store, apartment, school, work, streets, gym, and church. You know, just the everyday spots.
Walking along the paths we used to frequent was a little surreal. I guess it shouldn’t be so weird but it was, like an out of body experience, like no time had passed at all, as if we were still there-a broke graduate student and his new bride who couldn’t find a full time job for a year and a half. (Fourth best place to live in the country, remember? EVERYONE was searching for a job.)
When looking in the rearview mirror of life, there are certainly things I would do differently if given the opportunity; hindsight is always 20-20. But I try to focus on lessons learned, not regrets, and apply those lessons to my current situation. What am I doing right now that my older self would do differently? We may not always know the exact answer but applying what we have learned from the past is a great place to start. As we walked the streets of this beautiful city, as we recounted stories from the first days of marriage, here are a few simple reminders that I hope apply to your journey as well.
Attitude effects everything. More times than not, what I would change comes down to my attitude. Money, location, job, relationships, and position all depend more on how we view the situation than the situation itself. Charles Swindoll says it like this, “I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.” My dad has always taught me this. And as it turns out, he continues to be right.
Enjoy the journey. People who have been where I am continue to share this nugget of encouragement. High school, college, graduate school and the early days of marriage-“Just enjoy it,” was a common admonition. And in my current season with babies at home, I am being told the same thing. Enjoy. Every. Season. Because one day this current season will be the follow up to the statement, “Remember when.”
Begin with the end in mind. While enjoying the season is important, it is equally important to plan for the future. We were reminded last weekend that our current reality was once just a dream. God is the one who provides but often we must position ourselves for the provisions. I mean, you can’t sit on the couch eating bon bons and expect everything you want to be delivered to your door. Better put, our choices today effect our tomorrow.
Invest in relationships. Of all the stops on our walk down memory lane, my favorite by far was visiting the church we used to attend. The smiles, hugs, and worship left my heart full. I was moved during the singing as I remembered that God is who He is-always has been, always will be. He has moved so powerfully in every season of life. The God who worked then and is the God who works now. At one point during the service I was brought to tears, touched by the relationships that once were and will always be because of our connection in Christ. Even when time and distance separate us, we will always be family. And I am certain that on Sunday we experienced a little taste of heaven.