Think back to childhood and dredge up some good memories. For me, my best memories as a kid have nothing to do without getting things. In fact, I can't remember many birthday or Christmas gifts, but I do remember moments.
I remember being in the front yard shooting cans out of the air with my dad. I remember the mountain vacations with no TV to entertain, but being left to wander around the cabin and explore with my parents. We bumped into old-timers with crazy stories, panned for gold, and rafted in whitewater.
I rarely remember a lecture or instructions the adults in my life gave (not that they were not important), but I remember experiences: a Sunday School teacher taking our class on a prison tour, a high school coach letting me hang at his house, or my father shuffling me through plowed fields looking for Indian relics.
I am sure the lectures and teaching shaped my soul, but it's the meaningful experiences that let me slip back in time.
Memory allows us to commune with the past to shape us for the future.
This is incredibly important if you have any influence with kids. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, youth worker, etc., are you creating memories? Will those memories help shape the future?
I won't stop lecturing my kids, but I wonder if the experiences we have will create anchors for their future life, constantly tugging their soul to the good and true and beautiful no matter where their path leads.
How can we be intentional about creating lasting positive memories in the children we influence?