“Can you live crushed under the weight of the present? Without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, a family? Can you go on like this?”
After a week of family gatherings, late nights, some sick kids, and a new pet lizard (see prior post), Tricia and I mutually decided, without any conversation, that New Year’s Eve would be a nonevent complete with standard bedtimes. "Let’s just get on with 2020," was our shared demeanor. As the children’s dinner behavior began to breakdown, as is so often the case, Tricia redirected them by inviting each of us to share our favorite memory of the last year. As we went around the table, there were lots of giggles and smiles and, inevitably, one person’s memory triggered another to remember something else that had happened in 2019. Without a doubt, the memories that got the biggest laughs were the ones we all shared together.
As Tricia and I did the dishes, I couldn’t help but think how much had happened in just one year and how easily I had forgotten so many happy moments. As a leader, I gather with others so frequently to "do"– to strategize, to edit, to correct, to request. How often do I gather to remember? How much richer are the memories when they are shared through multiple lenses? As I gathered with literally thousands of other Catholics later that week for Mass at a conference, it reminded me that a sweatpants New Years Eve isn’t the only opportunity I have to gather and remember the abundant life God gives me and how He affords me the great blessing to share it with others. What blessing from the last year will you carry forward and remind someone else of today? Prayers that your 2020 vision celebrates the past, embraces the present, and looks with hope toward the future.