Even though social studies wasn't my best thing in school--well, okay, only in some ways!--my own past is one thing that I seem to know better than anybody else. I often surprise people when I tell them of things that I saw them do and/or heard them say a while back; the responses I've gotten have ranged from the usual, "I don't remember that!", to even calling me "the one who remembers everything I ever did." (I'm not the only one who has ever had someone tell him that; see John 4:28-29 for proof.) Sometimes, people even don't believe me, saying that not only did what I spoke of not occur, it couldn't have, for whatever reason(s). They don't seem to realize that, if I didn't know it to be true, I wouldn't say it.
You've probably noticed from my previous posts that I tend to look backwards to find the solutions to my problems. Almost every time something happens, I'll say it's similar to something that happened in the past; it's to be expected from someone who can recall instances from years ago as clearly as if they happened last week. My sister and I were meeting with someone back in 2003, and I brought up an instance that took place in 1999, to which my sister replied, "[Siobhan], I don't even remember that!" I quickly countered with, "I don't know how you can't; it wasn't even half a decade ago!" She and the individual whom we were meeting with laughed, but, to me, it wasn't a joke; the feelings I had about said instance when it happened didn't just remain with me for four years, but are still there today. More recently, a Facebook friend had this to say:
I understand you have a great memory, and often look to the past for understanding and such, but I am blessed to not have a great memory and look only to the future. I do not spend time on the past. There is no point in looking on it, for there is nothing you can do about it. So, though your posts are good, I cannot relate for that reason. Sometimes, I feel sorry for you; that you cannot let go of the past and move on.It's true that looking back on "the good old days" is unwise--Ecclesiastes 7:10 even says so!--but, it seems like I do it quite often, probably way too much. If I'm going to spend time looking back--and we all know I will--then, the least I could do is apply that knowledge. I can look back at what I and others did right, and emulate those actions; when I remember that someone--whether me, a family member, a friend, or even a famous person--messed up, I can ask myself, "Why did _____ mess up? What did _____ do wrong?" That can serve as what I call a Tim Taylor example: it shows me what not to do. Not only have I had teachers show my entire class--or just tell us--the mistakes that previous students have made, but the Bible is full of mistakes of people just like us:
- Two people's desire for what they couldn't have brought sin into the world. (Genesis 3)
- The wisest earthly king who ever lived was led astray by a thousand women, and his mistakes led the nation he ruled astray. (1 Kings 3:3)
- A man promises his friend he will never betray him, only to do just that and not realize it until it's too late. (Matthew 26:69-75)