May 22, 2019
The Roman leader Cicero is credited with these words: “Memory is the treasure of all things and their guardian.” I can only wonder what motivated him to say this, but it has led me to think about the power of memories. With Memorial Day this weekend, I am remembering people who have influenced me. They are no longer on Planet Earth, but the memories continue to make a difference in the way I think and do life.
My parents were not perfect, but their example was wholesome and consistent. Their limitations mentored me as well. I learned over time how to admit my weaknesses and make positive changes. Since no human is perfect, it is important that we allow people to hear us acknowledge when we are wrong.
I was fortunate that most of my teachers, all the way through graduate school, were good mentors. The few exceptions have reminded me that part of their failure was my own rebellion. I took advantage of their weaknesses. If I could talk to them today, I would offer an apology.
At the time of their influence, I had no idea how much mentoring my grandparents offered. They probably never used the word “mentor,” but they were so good at it. Their patience, willingness to talk about their lives, and encouragement were powerful. I knew only two of my grandparents, but I was told about the others. This reminds me that we do not have to meet someone to be influenced by them. Recorded history can be a wonderful resource.
During the coming days, we will have the opportunity to remember people who have made our world a better place. Some of them paid for it with their life. Perhaps we will reflect on the words that memory is a treasure and guardian of what is important. I am grateful that I can still remember the things that matter.
Pastor Bill Ehmann