do you remember the time when we fell in love / we were young and innocent then / do you remember how it all began / it just seemed like heaven, so why did it end?

i don’t know, michael. i don’t know. but i do love the phrase “remember when.” sometimes i feel childish reminiscing via the two-word phrase, but sometimes i have fun bringing back moments that happened even a few minutes ago. as in, “hey, remember when that woman tripped and busted her lip? oh yeah, like twenty minutes ago.” true story, by the way.

christmas break was a great time to say ‘remember when.’ i was delightfully surprised by a friend visiting from out of town (understatement), and a newly married friend who came back to the real orange county to spend the holidays at home. regardless, if there was ever a dull moment in conversation, it was quickly filled by a memory: “remember that time we went on that college tour?”

similarly, this christmas we had a good number of extended family members in town. my dad’s brother and sister and their families came down from new york, and up from south florida…and we likewise were able to hear childhood stories. my dad finally apologized for that time he threw a machete at his brother, and we laughed at the resulting behavior of the sorrel-induced family members.

as it is the second day into 2011, i find it fitting to talk about remembering. it’s a beautiful thing to spend time with friends and family and remember those things from our past that have brought us to where we are now. and yet, we have now begin with a clean slate. those memories remain memories, and we make new moments to say ‘remember when.’

instead of making resolutions, i like the idea that i first heard from my pastor on thinking about a word for the year. so far, i’ve come up with two: “remember” and “hospitality” (if the latter word stays, i’ll write more on that later). as many times as i read scripture (i promise i do that every now and again), i’m surprised by how often the people of God are called to remember: remember God’s acts of mercy, love and justice; remember the texts of the patriarchs and prophets; remember those on the fringes of community. it’s easy to complicate the how-to’s of this thing we call a life of faith, but as i begin the year, perhaps it is a good time to remember what God has done and what God can do.

2010 may have ended, but i’d like to remember the time i began the year hopeful for memories, expectant of those ‘remember when’ moments.

happy new year.


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