Strolling Down Facebook Memory Lane
I start most of my days with a little trip down memory lane by scrolling through the "Memories" aspect of my Facebook page.
If you don't know about this particular aspect of Facebook, there is a link you can click on the side of your page that will show you a smattering of the posts you made on the current date--starting with a year ago and going as far back as when you first created your Facebook page.
It's a strange time capsule of sorts that captures some of your memorable posts, photos, and musings from days gone by. I really enjoy checking them every day, just to remember and sometimes to reflect.
One of the strangest aspects of this daily visit with my Facebook memories is to see how much I've changed---not just in appearance (which is fairly sobering at times), but also in the things I believe, and the way I see the world.
On more than one occasion, I've been taken aback by my own posts---stunned at the statements I made that I no longer agree with.
When I see these, I am tempted to delete them because I can't even believe that I ever believed to be true some of the things I wrote all the way "back then." But I don't for one simple reason:
I may be different than I was, but who I was both formed and informed who I am now.
Sometimes in the journey forward we leave things behind that we didn't need to carry with us any longer. It's also natural for us to feel some regret about the wrong-headed or unhelpful things we said or did in the past---the things we believed, but believe no longer.
Perhaps we had beliefs about God, the Bible, or what it meant to be a Christian that grew and changed. Maybe our political and social worldview was transformed.
It could be that we had tragedy or loss that affected our faith, and when we emerged from the struggle we were different, more open, more willing to admit we'd been wrong before.
There was a moment when you realized that not only should you move forward without all of the baggage you'd been carrying, but that you could move forward and finally be free of it. You could become more of who you were meant to be.
When this happens to us, we don't need to beat ourselves up for the time we may have lost on our journey because we were weighed down with unnecessary burdens. The growth we experience is perfectly natural and should be viewed without judgment, as I said earlier.
Rob Bell writes about this in his newest book Everything Is Spiritual. He sees this process as necessary and asserts that we often carry that old weight around, hold on to those old notions:
Until those [old] forms become traps. Until you didn’t need them anymore. Not because there was something wrong, necessarily, but because you kept going. It’s less right vs. wrong and more earlier vs. later or then vs. now.