If there were really a wand that could erase selected memories like they used in Men in Black, I would be the first in line to let them test it out on me. I recently was becoming burdened with some memories from my past and I finally just became so heavily disturbed with them I was asking God, “Can you just remove these thoughts from my memory all together? I hate the way I feel when they come to mind, cant you just flash some wand into my eyes so I can stop being reminded of that time”? Funny thing about that is I honestly cant remember what the thoughts were about but I do remember asking God, out loud, while I was in the kitchen area at my office and no one else was here.
When we watched Straight Outta Compton on Friday afternoon, the excitement and emotions I felt were so amazing. The music bumping in the theater, the crowd cheering and singing along to the songs NWA performed brought me back to some great days. I know you could be thinking “What kind of great days could have possibly come from listening to that rap crap”? And I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that for a second. Those were good times. My twenties were a really good time. There wasn’t much out of bounds for me and while I probably should have been a totally different person as I look back on it, I wasn’t, and I had the time of my life not having a care in the world. I was in no kind of way “gangster” or “ghetto” but that isn’t to say I didn’t spend a good amount of time with people who were and it was ridiculous.
When I look back on that time I am so thankful for God having chosen me to be an ambassador of His grace and covering over His children. I have stalked out people from my past on social media to see where they ended up all these years later and it is such a confirmation of His favor over my life that regardless of how broken the road got when those friendships were severed and how bad it hurt, the long term results completely out weighed every speck of heartache. In the same way I am learning to not be burdened with emotions from the past I am also learning to not delight in my lawlessness regardless of how “fun” I think it was. I just had a conversation with someone I use to party with who has in recent months gotten sober and he was saying that he cant believe how difficult it is to take care of yourself. That living sober, maintaining mental and spiritual health as well as physical health is so freaking HARD, it makes no sense. But I reminded him that is makes PERFECT sense.
Being bad is easy, it’s like first nature to us to not do good. We don’t behave well, our thoughts are rotten, we have a world of garbage that is so easily accessible to us it seems ridiculous to not utilize those resources. We eat poorly, we speak poorly because it’s so much easier not to care what we are doing, it takes very little thought to do what feels naturally right to us. The difficult way is do try to live life running upstream against everything that feels normal. Minding our language, holding each negative thought captive, choosing sobriety, denying our bodies garbage and learning to satisfy them with nourishment instead, it’s all stinking hard and it sucks sometimes. But we would rather be here than where we once were, and so we press forward whether anyone understand s it or not.