Day 24-Finding Enjoyment in Reliving the Past

I had forgotten how much I loved Fanta Orange soda until one hot day at a McDonald's in Barstow.  

It wasn't an enjoyable trip that day, we were on our way to Bullhead City in Arizona so Dave could do a memorial service.  It was a service for the sister of a close friend of ours, a woman younger than me who shouldn't have died as she had.  I wasn't looking forward to it.  We had stopped for a quick lunch amid a forest of fast food places and as I stood before the soda dispensers, I saw that they had Fanta Orange.

Maybe it was because of the then recent loss of my dad and the fact I was on my way to a memorial that triggered the memory. Since my dad died I realized I have a lot of fond, food related memories, and most of them centered on something I did with my dad.  5th Avenue candy bars as we watched Adam 12 every week.  Bologna sandwiches and a thermos of hot chocolate on the winter time weekend drives.  Fanta Orange during football games.  He would have his one can of beer, I would have my one can of Fanta. 

When my husband came to the table and saw a tall cup of orange, he looked at me like I'd like lost my mind.  But since he likes anything but peas, he didn't complain. So we ate and split the orange soda, which was shockingly refreshing on a blistering day. After lunch, we hit the road.  

It was a bitter sweet trip.  I had also spent a lot of time in that part of Arizona with my folks, rather, my dad while my mom played bingo in a casino.  I took Dave around to some of the places we used to go, which made me both happy and sad at the same time.  We had a great evening out at dinner with our friends, eating Mexican food while looking out over the Colorado River, one of my favorite sights.  It was fun to meet our friends large, loud, funny family, who one minute was cutting up but then, as so often in grief, the next minute sobbing on the shoulder of a woman they just met.  Their grief was heartbreaking. 

The memorial was awesome.  Dave shared, our friend shared, and I watched God move and work among a grieving group of people in the most visible way.  The one who left to run an all important errand (I knew he wouldn't stay, my friend said) who came back just in time to hear the gospel because the memorial was delayed.  It was one of those God ordained you-can-run-but-you-can't-hide moments.  The rebellious back-slidden Christian in the profane t-shirt that ended up talking privately with Dave for a half hour. God moments all around and it was amazing and awe inspiring. We left for home late in the day as the memorial ended. 

Every now and then, when we go out to eat, Dave surprises me with orange soda, but only if they have Fanta.  Memories are funny things.  Sometimes, revisiting the past makes new memories in the present.  

God tells us many times in His Word to remember.  Sometimes specific things, sometimes good things, sometimes bad things. God places a high value on the past as a way to dictate our future. If you remember what He did for you in the past, you'll trust Him more in the present.  If you remember what happen to those who disobeyed, hopefully you'll choose differently than they did.  It's important for us to remember.  

Sometimes memories are painful.  When they are, because of what's been done or what we've lost, this is what we need to remember:

I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.  Psalm 77:11

Because the memory of the wonders of old hold promise of new wonders to enjoy. His love never fails.   


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