President Kimball once taught that the most important word in the English language was
We are all given those incredible moments where what was fuzzy becomes crystal clear, and we understand.
Even if we can’t put words to adequately describe it, it makes sense to us and is, at once, both miraculous and simple.
It becomes pretty easy to forget if we don’t actively work to remember.
Hence, the critical importance in this one word and its need for permanence in our lives.
There are so many things that we need to remember if we want to find the happiness that is out there for each of us: promises made, love felt, forgiveness received, gratitude given.
With all of the great experiences that can crowd our already over-programmed minds, it would only be logical that there are going to be some things that we forget.
I think the trick is in choosing just exactly what they are.
Let me explain.
Years ago, well actually it was more than a quarter century in the past (good grief, that really does make me a fat old man, doesn’t it?) a movie came out about two friends and chronicled their long life together.
As one approached death and became forgetful, the other said something along the lines of “Don’t worry, my memory is very, very long.”
The first quietly whispered “I’m counting on it.”
This was at a point in my life that I, too, had a very long memory. But the problem was that my memory was very long on only some things and was pretty short on others.
You can probably guess which was which, right?
I could remember every detail about each experience where I thought someone had wronged me, or hurt me, or was out to get me (okay, the mental illness may have had a small part in that one), or any and all difficult situations I had somehow survived.
I allowed those memories to take the best real estate in my overcrowded head which left all the good in my life to fight for space in the slums.
This sort of arrangement makes issuing eviction notices pretty easy.
And soon I forgot.
Fast forward that same quarter century (ouch, that is just painful to say) and I have the same brain capacity I did then (yes, I know that is being generous to myself, but let’s just go with it).
One of our friends commented on our blog posting about It’s Raining on the Inside. She remarked that perhaps the price of our difficulties is worth paying if we can help others through their own hard times.
Before you think I’ve jumped on the senility train (it’s okay, I’ve already booked passage on the wild and crazy man express) I hadn’t really forgotten the specific experience that prompted that posting.
It just took some work to remember it.
As with everything, that experience made me think.
I realized that I’ve fired my old realtor and found a much, much better One. With His help, the very best real estate in my wacky head is a beautiful neighborhood of happy memories with homes for promises made, love felt, forgiveness received, and gratitude given.
There is no need to spend time in the slums where those nasty little pain-filled memories of the hard times reside.
I may not be able to send out the eviction notices, but that doesn’t mean I need to hang out there either.
One of my greatest treasures in my bucket of rocks is the gift of faith.
I know of many people who are born with this gift and it is woven throughout their entire beings. Ann and Alex are both this way.
It thrills me to watch them.
But mine wasn’t a natural part of me and had to be earned.
Again and again and again.
Because I kept choosing to remember all the wrong things.
The lesson I’ve learned is that by choosing differently, the faith grows and sweeps out the anger and resentment and petty grudges to where I have to actively work to remember them.
I’m happy to report that I still have a memory that is very, very long.
It’s just so full of all the good that fills our life that there isn’t much room left for the rest.
And gratefully I forget.
I hope they can hear my own quiet voice when I whisper “I’m counting on it.”