I think it was during one summer when I transitioned between Hong Kong, then Chicago, then Michigan, and then back to Champaign, that I started tossing memorabilia away because I found life too transitory to keep things. I’m still not one to keep too many non-functional knick-knacks around, but I’ve learned that the practice of keeping souvenirs from people in different seasons of one’s life is necessary “clutter.”
Necessary clutter reminds us of the ways we’ve been changed and challenged. It tells us where we came from and reminds us to where we are going. Without recognizing sanctification and trials, we lose the beauty of our testimony that is being written.
I think even the Lord knew it was good, so numerous times in the Old Testament, he commands places to be renamed, people to be renamed, and altars to be built – Genesis is chock full of it by the way – as a reminder. We even take communion as a reminder. We need reminders. We are forgetful people. I’m a forgetful person. I forget the good things that have proven again and again the truth of God’s sovereignty. I forget the things He has done that make him trustworthy. I forget the miracles He has done so I allow the daily non-miracles I experience to distort my expectations.
Good thing He put things down in writing as a reminder so we can return to truth.