Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Positive or Negative???

Memory requires some effort on our part, does it not? Try learning your mathematical 'times tables' for the first time and you will likely have to 'memorize' the fact that 3 times 3 equals 9. Eventually, in the course of 'rehearsing' that which you have memorized, you will form long-term memory of that fact. It is a fact, not fiction, for three rows of three oranges a piece will yield you nine oranges. There are parts of our memories though that are a little more fiction than fact. We all 'add to' memories, not the stuff we memorize, but the memories made in the moments of life. Most of what we remember will be true, but there are parts of our memories we 'make up' to fill in some gap in those memories. It just could be because we didn't 'take notice' of those things 'in the moment', but now we are recounting something from those moments and realizing there was more we never even saw while we were living in that moment!

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought.  You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am.  You know what I am going to say before I even say it.  You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head. (Psalm 139:1-5 TLB)

Much of what we 'remember' is based upon the significance of the event or moment. Much of what we memorize is based on some 'fact' or 'subject matter' we want to store away for one reason or another. Memory and fact are not one in the same, though. It can often be our downfall when we remember what would have been best to forget and forget what we might have done well to hold onto! Every now and again, it is good to just sit and recount what it is we remember - allowing God to point out the 'gaps' in our memories that need filling in a little. If we allow him to point out what it was we missed in the moment, we often see these memories from a whole different perspective. If we attempt to paint in those gaps with what we 'imagine' to be true, we can be filling in the gaps with what really is nothing more than imagination.

In the moment, we see only portions of what is around us. It is impossible for us to take everything in with total clarity. We are just not created to comprehend all things at one time. In fact, this is why we learn at a steady pace instead of just waking up one day totally 'smart' in some area! We add fact to fact until we form knowledge of the subject. My math teacher started us out with the one times one equals one because understanding one times anything still leaves you what you started with. When we got to the zero times anything equals zero, I kind of got a little depressed. I was hoping that 'times' thing would always 'multiply'. I didn't expect it to leave me with zero! When she threw in the negative numbers and tried to teach me a negative times a negative equaled a positive, I admit it ... she lost me! If you had less than zero and multiplied it with something else less than zero, how on earth did you get a positive?

I don't know how that works except she told me it was like saying do NOT NOT do something. A double negative really was moving you in a positive direction! It was contradicting the negative. Admit it . . . you were lost right along with me! So, the best I could do with that one was memorize the facts - a positive and a positive yield a positive, opposite signs yield a negative, and two negatives move you back into a positive direction again. There, I have recited the facts and I still don't understand the 'why' behind them! But...I do know that God takes my negatives and turns them to positives. I am not bound by what I remember or the memory parts I didn't form correctly in the moment. I am free to allow a positive to come out of the negative because he is the one who knows how to bring positive out of negative even when I don't! Just sayin!