Making History

by - February 20, 2011

In all of time, there is only the past, the present, and the future. With the past behind us and the future ahead, what remains is the present, the time machinery that turns the future into the past one moment at a time. The present is a wee crux of time that slips ever quickly into the past. And then that moment is past, and now this one. And another one. It won't be caught, stopped or even slowed. The present is fleeting; and the past keeps growing vast.

It may be history, but it's important because it's the basis for how we understand the present.

When I see 911, I think of an emergency call. If my grandmother had seen the same configuration of numbers in 1950, she would think only of the number nine hundred eleven. But if she said that number aloud as "nine eleven" anytime after the year 2001, it would conjure images of terrorist attacks. Those three numbers have three distinct meanings determined by historical perspective.

We understand the present based on the past and what we know of it. That's why God tells us what to remember and what things to forget.

  • God had Joshua build a pillar of twelve stones on the far side of the Jordan as a memorial, to remember that God allowed Israel to cross on dry ground. (Joshua 4)
  • They ate the Passover meal annually to remember the passing over of the death angel to spare the sons of Israel. (Exodus 12)
  • Love does not keep a record of wrong. (1 Corinthians 13)
  • I count all things as loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus...forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead.... (Philippians 3)

It's important to get these things right. They cause us to understand our present...or misunderstand it, as the case may be. If we forget what God says to remember and remember what God says to forget, we taint our view of history. And a tainted history skews our meaning of life, our very identity, and the wisdom gleaned from that tainted past with which we approach the future. There's an awful lot hinging on that wee crux.

Further, my smaller story of me feeds into God's larger story of all time. If I view my own life through my near-sighted lens of egocentricity, I can't make out the larger, farther-away story, the one that's God-centered. Eve did this in the Garden. It had some drastic consequences, and there's a host of others recorded in the Word for our warning.

What I desperately need in order for this not to be my experience is the lens of faith. That's what all those people in Hebrews chapter eleven had. They had faith to be far-sighted. They let themselves fall out of their own focus in order to gaze upon God. I want to do that.

I want my life to be caught up in the glory of God's larger story.
I want my present to bleed into His past.
I want my story to become His story.
And I want to make history.

This is a reflection on "History: Whose Story," Truth Project, Tour Six because I want to take what I hear on Sunday and live it out on Monday.

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  1. Oh Sweetheart he is writing His story on your heart and . . . writing your story. . . And how beautiful it is.

  2. Yes . . . living it out on Monday and all week through. It sometimes is a tough battle. Your post touched me. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Well said Dawn! I see so much of this today in this post-modern world, especially in the so-called church who claims to know Christ and yet does not hold to the clear teachings of Scripture. Truth becomes relative and we blur the lines of our morality and justify it by saying it is a new insight or a new way of thinking. But they purposefully forget and suppress the truth in order to fulfill the desires of their flesh. Romans 1:18-32 says, "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness. .For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. . Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator. .Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. .Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." What amazes me is how many have gone down this road of deception and do not even realize their destruction. Where is the holiness of the church? Where is the honor due this Holy God? We have distorted the Scriptures to our own destruction, which ignorant and unstable people do (2 Peter 3:16). Sorry for the long post, but I see this so clearly -we have forgotten what we should have remembered and we are paying for it today as a nation.

  4. Dawn, I love this post. It reinforces some thoughts I was reading on "responsibility" this morning. Thoughts on how what we do today is part of God's plan and we don't need to despise our part. Mike, I like you thoughts true that as a nation we have forgotten truth and this world reels from the effect of it. "We have distorted the Scriptures to our own destruction..." that is such a chilling thought! Thank to both of you for the encouragement to be true to the Lord Jesus right where we are, in our present place!

  5. I see a connection between what I wrote on my post for this meme, too. Remembering the things that people have done to make me angry is actually something that I need to forgot so to find freedom in the forgiveness. But not only to find freedom, but to obey God, too. What if He were to remember my own sins?

    This post is full of good thoughts!

  6. Wow, Dawn, I really had to slow way down and take my time reading through this -- there is so much good stuff packed in here! I like the examples you gave of God telling his people when to stop and remember -- isn't that what the Ebenezer stone was for, too?

    I want to do as you say: to lift my focus from myself and to gaze unobstructed on Him.

    Seriously great post, Dawn! And thanks so much for linking up...

  7. I'm cracking up...I just clicked over to find out "who this Pastor Mike guy is" (!!) -- didn't realize it was YOUR Mike! Worlds coming together now... :)

  8. "If we forget what God says to remember and remember what God says to forget, we taint our view of history."...amen...GOD breathed words here

  9. Me too, me too! I want my life to be caught up in God's larger story. And I long for my story to become His.

  10. Wow and can I just say AMEN and AMEN to what you and Pastor Mike have to say. I have recently had a disagreement with a sister-in-law (an ordained minister) about the very thing Mike is talking about. It seems to me that those in the church should be teaching Gods word not seeking to change its meaning.

  11. Hebrews chapter eleven always blows my mind. I read that and I am overwhelmed. Such great faith, indeed!

  12. this was the sentence that moved me... my smaller story of me feeds into God's larger story of all time.
    This side of heaven I don't think we will ever know how our lives impacted others. Good or bad.
    Beautifully written!

  13. I enjoyed reading this! Our church recently went through the Truth Project too and wow, was it interesting.


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