In his autobiography, Between Heaven and the Real World, Steven Curtis Chapman writes honestly about his family’s response in the aftermath of the death of their adopted daughter, Maria. After many torturous months, Chapman and his wife, Mary Beth, decided the memories of Maria’s death were too much for them to remain in the home where she died. Yet to move away seemed to them like abandoning an important connection to her.
So they decided to tear down the home and rebuild on the same location – remaining near, yet giving them a new beginning. As Chapman took a final walk through the old home, doubts crept in. There were many good memories within those same walls too. Were they doing the right thing? As he contemplated the magnitude of what was to ensue, Chapman came to this conclusion:
There is no life in this house. It is wood and drywall. The life is in the people. The memories will live on within the people.
Those truths spoke to me because my tendency is to hold on to memories through “things.” I fear if I left go of tangible reminders, my memories will fade. Yet that hasn’t been my experience. When my parents moved from their home of nearly 40 years – the house where I spent all of my schooling years – I feared my childhood memories would be gone. But the reality is that old house was just wood and drywall – very OLD wood and drywall – that have since been torn down. The life was in the people. The memories have lived on within them!
Friends, cling loosely to the wood and drywall of this world – it will all eventually end up in a trash heap. Instead, invest yourself in what will remain – the lives of others. –Dave
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:17)
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