You know, memory sure is a funny thing.
It’s strange what we forget versus what we remember. My memories include a plethora of seemingly random details over the past 50-plus years, while I’ve no doubt forgotten plenty of important things.
I know I have because my husband references things I don’t remember or of which I have only vague recollections.
A while back (I say that a lot because my sense of time is terrible), our daughter pointed out what she labeled as my short-term memory loss.
Sigh. Yeah, yeah, there’s a lot swirling around in my head, and if she hadn’t been about to graduate from medical school, I probably wouldn’t have thought twice about her observation.
Anyway, I quickly advised her to enjoy her mid-20s, supposedly the peak of cognitive sharpness. I also resolved to back off social media, which I suspect is a culprit.
A little over the hill, I do realize I’ve forgotten, or maybe never even mentally logged, details about certain events others in my family recall.
Yet other distant memories are vivid still, making me wonder the rhyme and reason to what I have retained.
One of those memories immediately popped up when I read the following scripture associated with a daily devotion: “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” - Psalm 40:1-3
My mind zoomed back in time to a traumatic moment from my early childhood.
My family had come home from church, and, for some reason I don’t know, we had to go out back to the feedlot behind the barn. We did not usually play there.
I remember my sister and I were still dressed in our church clothes, which back then included lacy stockings. (The experience of having those itchy things pulled up/pinched on by my mom every Sunday is something I wish I could forget!)
But we had replaced our dress shoes with galoshes - at our mother’s prompting, I am sure.
In the feedlot on my grandparents’ farm, where we lived until I was nine years old, there was a long concrete feeder surrounded by mud and plenty of “muck and mire” from the cows.
My parents placed my sister and I safely in the feeder – playpen style - for some reason. No cows were nearby at that time.
I have no idea why our parents parked us there, but we quickly got bored waiting for them.
Unfortunately, I was not like the psalmist, who waited patiently. A few trips walking the length of the feeder, pretending it was a balance beam, left me wanting out/down.
I remember looking at all that muck surrounding the feeder and thinking my little rain boots would surely keep my feet clean if I jumped down and made a run for it to the house. Bad idea.
Yep, I gambled and lost. I jumped, and my little boots plunged into the depths of that muck and stuck firmly. It was a sinking feeling for sure (wink).
Knowing I was in trouble any way I proceeded from that point, I hoisted my legs out of those boots, leaving them buried in their muddy graves.
It was an awful and gross feeling as I then sunk my stockinged legs through the manure and mud mixture, which felt like trying to escape quicksand to a little girl.
Heave ho … and, at that awkward point, my parents discovered me covered with tears and plenty more. And, just as the Lord did David, they rescued me, lifting me from that slimy pit.
I now see there are many lessons in that experience and in those Bible verses.
Maybe that’s why God has kept that memory alive in the recesses of my mind all these years … so I can continue to ponder the experience and learn from it. Lord knows I have plenty of lessons yet to learn!
In this new year, we see plenty of muck and mire around us.
After all, 2020 was pretty stormy. But, if we will look for it, God’s grace, mercy and blessings are there too.
May we remember we don’t have to wallow in all that muck. He will rescue all who turn to him.
I just love how God talks to us personally through the Bible. It really is his living word. And it really is relevant to each of us, his children, whom he dearly loves. Through his word and spirit, God gives us a firm place to stand, and for that, I’m so thankful!
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” - John 14:26
Gina Moore, a news-editorial journalism major, has operated Marketplace Consignment Sale for 26 years and has worked part-time at Treasures. She also enjoys country cooking, reading and writing about motherhood, life on the farm and how God’s love and lessons surround residents.