Sunday, September 6, 2009

memories v memory

“More and more people choose are choosing to buy memory than make them...” Erwin MacManus.

My hard drive crashed and I am sad to say I am guilty of that very amateurish mistake: I didn’t back up my documents. I was staring at the possibility of losing seven years of sermons (no a great loss I hear you say), family photos, prayers and poems, a mysterious and often unopened document called ‘my writings’ that held my tentative attempts of putting pen to paper, my contacts, the virtual links that held my relationships together in between rear and precious face to face meetings. Gone also were movies, and videos that captured my imagination and tickled my fancy, meeting minutes that dictated movements and ordered my agenda for the month. No to mention logos, letterheads, recipes, adverts and posters, pictures and PowerPoint presentations. Equally devastating, was its impacted on my family with assignments and projects from school disappearing.

Spiralling down into a litany of self-pity and apocalyptic forecasts I fumed and fussed and yelled abuse at the dark tower that sits usually quite amenably by my desk holding those precious thoughts.

After going and buying a new hard drive and rebuilding and rebooting and an external hard drive to avoid such a void in my life happening again, I was able to sit back and reflect. I was so busy storing memories away for a rainy day what about the moments in this life I was missing. The kind of minutes that are to be experienced rather than turned into bites, mg’s and gigs of ones and zeros.

I used to be the family photographer capturing moments at family events. I could distance myself from what was going on by hiding behind the camera and the mantra that things needed to be preserved for posterity. Now I avoid the camera like the plague as I want to be involved in the moment.

Here are some moments that we can easily miss.

Angel Moments: Moments when people are messengers of God’s help and encouragement. After a rather disheartening turn out to an event we ran last weekend I received an email from a friend down country spelling out the situation I was experiencing and telling me that they were there to help. When my mother was dying I was amazed at the wonderful care she received from the nursing staff and a friend of hers had written a card which said she believed my mother was surrounded by angels and I responded ‘Yes some of them are beings of light and others wear white uniforms and comfortable shoes and got there by bus.’

God moments: When we are surrounded by the very presence of God in a tangible way. I believe God is always present but there are thin moments and thin places where the veil between the divine and the mundane of life begin to disappear. Walking in the city I find myself getting morose but am reminded of God’s presence and love for this place as I see pigeon’s flutter and roost around me. The dove is a symbol of the Spirit in scriptures and here that symbol in the everydayness of the streets. Or having your breath taken away by a sunset and even on rare occasions by a sunrise.

People moments: moments when there is that great connection with people. A chance to share God’s love with others. Be it simply a smile and a quick conversation. Or moments when the spirit leads us to go beyond the surface to deeper things and a bring Christ into someone’s life in a covert way (not sneak it in their but Christ covered in our flesh) and an overt way Christ simply seems to turn up in the meeting of our lives.

You can’t seem to put such moments on a hard drive and label them for easily retrieval from a directory they have to be experienced.

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