Making Memories

Last night I was driving with my softball team to our play-off game a few hours away.  Our drive was really pretty, past rolling hills covered with evergreens and quirky small towns, in the heart of California’s logging country.  We’d all been through the area before, so there were lots of familiar places outside our windows.

My friend’s dad, who was driving, pointed to one: a small resturant alongside the road.  “Your mom and I went there once,” he told my friend, “Right after we were married.”  We were already quite a ways from home, and my friend laughed.  “You drove all the way out here just to have dinner?  What a waste of gas,” she teased.  He smiled.  “It wasn’t a waste of time,” he said, “For a romantic dinner.”

This impacted me because last year, she died of cancer.  My friend’s mom was young, energetic, and a vital part of our small community.  We were friends with their family.  She had a loving husband and two young children.  No one expected that she had pancreatic cancer, and her passing away was very sudden and very hard on us all.

Maybe a long drive to some hole-in-the-wall eatery may have seemed like a waste of money and time.  But I think my friend’s dad cherishes this memory, more than all the “productive” days surrounding it.

With all the senior year, last minute stress in my life right now, it’s hard to see a moment that I don’t spend getting my portfolio ready, finishing up classes, applying for scholarships, getting ready for college, or searching for a summer job as being even slightly redeemable.  Can I afford to hang out with my little brothers and sisters?  Do I really have time to go to their baseball and softball games?  My friend needs to talk, but my paper needs to be written.  Which is more important?  Should I skip discipleship group this week and finish some health class homework?  Do I go on vacation at the beginning of this summer with my sister or house-sit for some friends?  In our never-stop, crazy world, these questions are confusing.  Some would say that the time we spend should be used for material gain and worldly advancement.  But I think God is more pleased when we build relationships with those around us.

There’s a balance in everything.  It’s not wrong to cross items off my to-do list, and hanging out with friends can’t always be my top priority (even though sometimes I wish it could be!).  I have to be a responsible steward of my time.  So do we all.  But now and then, we all need the simple, old-hat reminder of what really matters in this life.  And it’s not a degree or a paycheck or a diploma…it’s glorifying God and loving others.  The relationships we build with the people in our lives are so important.  The time we take to show them how much we care is not wasted.

That means I can listen to my brother talk about baseball.  I can hang out with my sister.  I can call my best friend.  I can have a long talk with my mom.  I can go to work with my Dad.

Because when all the deadlines are past and all things I’m stressing over now are forgotten, I will still cherish those same relationships.  And the memories I have of these years won’t be so much about grades and portfolio presentations, but about spending time with those I love.

 

I’m gonna love you like nobody loves you

And I’ll earn your trust makin’ memories of us.

-“Makin’ Memories of Us”, Keith Urban

 

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One Response

  1. This is such a good post! Yes we need to concentrate on what really matters, and keep in mind that relationships and people are the only thing that really lasts!

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