Learning From The Past
Ecclesiastes 1:9 – What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.
Tomorrow is my earthly father’s birthday. It is difficult for me to view him at the age of eighty nine since he left this earth at the age of thirty seven. I have limited memories of him since I was just seven when he died.
My memories of my dad consist of wonderful, good, bad and ugly. It was a long time before I wanted to think or talk about the ugly memories of my dad. I only wanted to remember the wonderful and good, but life is not only about happy and joyful times, it includes the horrible and tragic as well.
When we want to exclude the past with its ghastly and appalling truths, we are doomed to repeat the same experiences. History is our best teacher. We can learn what truly brings solutions and what causes more conflict. Destroying or ignoring the past does not change the past. The past is the past so we should make the past our teacher.
I cannot change anything about my childhood. It is gone and never to return. However, I can learn from my childhood and make the improvements to bring a better future for myself and others around me.
When Bobby and I married we brought into our marriage the wonderful, good, bad and ugly of our past. We wanted to continue the experiences that brought peace, joy and calmness but we wanted to change the issues that brought pain and destruction. We wanted our sons to have a life that was filled with more positive opportunities than we had and to learn from our own mistakes and not repeat them.
One of the wonderful memories I have of my dad is that he was a kind, caring, giving man. He worked downtown delivering huge racks of meat to the supermarkets in Atlanta. He went to work early in the morning so he went to bed early in the evening. I wanted to be close to my dad so when he came home from work, I would crawl up in his lap while he was in his big chair or when he went to bed I would go cuddle close. Sometimes when my mother came to bed and she wanted to move me to my room, I shared with my much older sister; Dad would let me stay because he did not want me to cry.
The precious memories of my father have sustained me but unfortunately there are tragic memories as well. The horrible nightmare of my father’s death cannot be erased. Bobby and I have tried our best to explain and demonstrate that we need to learn from out past. We do not ignore or make excuses for the cause of the tragic conclusion of my father’s life.
Ecclesiastes 3:15 –Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
I know that if my father could have a conversation with my sons and grandsons, his grandsons and great grandsons, he would advise them to stay clear of any and all situations and individuals that would cause them harm and shorten their life. He already has a grandson in heaven with him. This grandson arrived in heaven the day before he turned thirty six. He followed in my dad’s path and allowed alcohol to shorten his life.
Philippians 1: 7, 9-11 ……I have you in my heart. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.