Try to Remember
 If you like to be in a sentimental mood, pull out your old photo albums or watch some old video recording of yourself back in the days or your kids when they were still small. Do it over a cup of hot cocoa or tea and play some good oldies song like “Try to Remember” by Jerry Orbach: “Try to remember the kind of September/ When life was slow and oh, so mellow. Try to remember the kind of September/ When grass was green and grain was yellow.” Hmmm…. I bet you would be transported to the world of tender-moonstruck-feeling.
That’s what I did a couple weeks ago and it’s stayed with me. Maybe because it is Fall where the weather is cool and wet, and the whole ambiance is perfect to be in a sentimental mood. When I was cleaning my cabinets, I found the old DVD record of my children when they were small. I played them and, boom….all the memories came back. I invited Vania and my kids to watch them with me and we spent a good afternoon giggling, cringing, and talking about the video. We played the video somewhat chronologically starting when they were born, first birthday, first Christmas, all the way to their current age. Watching how small and fragile my kids were when they were little and comparing them with how they look now, I was awestruck of how fast time flies.
In the middle of our time together Viola, my 12-year old daughter, suddenly, got up and ran away to the bathroom. And I heard that she was sobbing. I asked what happened. She said, “I just realized how spoiled I was. You and mommy are sooo nice to me, it made me cry.” She hugged me. I remember Viola used to complain to me and Vania of how sometimes she feels like we treat her unfairly when Varen, her six-year old brother, got a nice toy or how sometimes I asked her to share most of her stuff with Varen. “You spoil him too much! I don’t get to enjoy my stuff without having to share everything with him.” I always said to Viola, “Viola, you were born six years apart from Varen. For six years you got the best and sole attention from Papi and Mommy. For six years you didn’t have to share it with anybody. How come you complain about this?” But of course, my advice went over her head. She didn’t get it because who can remember all the details about our childhood. That day, I became a witness of how technology could also be used to bring back good memory in a child so that she is aware how much she is loved.
There’s nothing worse than spiritual amnesia; when we think of all we have, the accomplishments, success, and comfort we take credit for, I believe not a single person can claim that all their successes happened without the involvement of other people around them. Behind a great boss there are many workers that make things work for him. Behind a great leader stands a husband or a wife who faithfully listens to their cries during hard times and cheers them up when thing goes well. We are surrounded by loving people: family, friends, co-workers, and church people who make us to be the person we are today.
Ultimately, behind every human life, there is God who promised to always be with us, love us, and bless us with His goodness. This God says to us: “Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. “Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.” (Isaiah 49:15-16)
Therefore, it is appropriate for us, in the season of thanksgiving, to remember how good God is to us. Just as the Bible says it “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God…. You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8)
With a song that keeps ringing in my head: “Try to remember, and if you remember, then follow.” Yes, follow His love… with thanksgiving in our heart.
Love and prayers,
Vincent Arishvara 11162017