Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Memories - continuation from earlier post

So now I will continue with my thoughts from the order I initially started recording them in.

The two thoughts  I would like to talk about today are:

Oklahoma at an older age living with a pastor and his family and attending school with their children for a week or so.

Memory of Texas and driving and looking at lights

To start with I will talk about Oklahoma.  I asked my mom about why we went back to Oklahoma and the answer was to visit some friends my mom and dad had made while we were living there.  My biggest memory is the church service we attended while there. 

To start with I do not wish to offend any with this story.  I am simply telling it from the perspective of one living through it.  My family has always considered this humorous, and to many they would consider us highly wrought upon by the spirit.  That being said I start my story....

As I said we went to visit some friends, but when we got there they no longer lived where they had and so we ended up in Oklahoma, with little to nothing, and no place to stay.  As I remember things we stayed a night or two in a homeless shelter and while staying there met a pastor (or leader of a small church).  He was a good man and invited us to stay with him and his family and so we did for a short time. 

While we were there I attended school with his children for a few days.  This was a big deal for a few reasons.  First I had only attended public school as a child up to this point for kindergarten and a small portion of first grade.  The rest of my schooling was done at home.  The second reason was because I was kind of like a show and tell for these new friends and so I thought the whole experience was wonderful.  I don't remember much about school except that I never felt mistreated or scared and seemed to enjoy the experience.

I also remember playing board games with the family in the evenings and just spending time together.  I do tend to remember going outside and spending time running and playing, but the only memory is a dirt road, and fields.  Not a lot to go on...

So onto the biggest part of this memory, we attended church with this family, and partially based on memory and partially on discussion, this is the story.  Me and my siblings were very rambunctious little bedlamites and ran all over during the church service.  My mother and father were very frustrated initially since we would not behave.  My mother tried to settle us down and was rebuked for restraining the spirit which we were full of per the words of the pastor.  My father upon realizing the rebuke decided he was going to have some fun with this and so he took off his shoes and threw them into the air and loudly exclaimed, remove your shoes for we are standing on holy ground.  Fairly quickly the group erupted, and shoes were flying through the air and people were chanting in what I considered to be jibberish, since I couldn't understand anything.  This behavior continued the portion of the meeting I remember, and for me I had a wonderful time running around and acting crazy.  My mother told me after the fact that she really struggled with teaching us how to be reverent in meetings following this, because of the example.

So why does this matter to me, and what did I get from this? 

First and foremost I learned that although people are very different and believe many things there is great goodness to be found in those that are doing their best.  I believe people are good for the most part; and that those who are not typically learn those traits, due to circumstances usually out of control in their lives. 

I learned that I can make friends no matter what situation I may be placed in and although I moved a lot that allowed me to build relationships with many different and wonderful people.  It also made it hard to build very strong lasting relationships.

I think about school and think of varying aspects of being schooled for most of my life at home and the advantages and disadvantages of this.  This caused me many struggling's later in life with social aspects that many learn.  In some ways I still struggle with these things.  Communication is something that I need to often pay close attention to or I falter. 

On the plus side I learned and was always very advanced in education.  I have always learned very quickly and been extremely quick to pick up new things.  I was doing some of my fathers college math while still the age of an elementary student.  I learned many life skills that are still a treasure to me, and I excelled in scouting. 

I think I would have been extremely active physically either way, but that is another part of my life that has a big impact on who I am.

There is more that I learned from this experience and reviewing it than can be put down in words, but suffice it to say it helped shape me and mold me into the man I have become.

The second experience is a very short one.  I was much younger than in the previous experience and remember sleeping in the back of our station wagon as we drove.  It was night and I remember we were on our way to Texas to visit with relatives if my story is right.  As we drove we were going through a city and I remember looking out the windows of the car and looking as we passed multiple street lights of different colors.  I just remember thinking it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.  I know I slept after seeing them and my parents have no idea what I am remembering.  So I only have the memory to go off of.

I believe this is important to me because it helped me see the beauty around me, and recognize both the beauty of all that God has created, and also to look for the beauty in what man creates and does.  I sometimes wonder if a large portion of my optimism is based on experiences like this and being out in the woods, looking at streams and pondering on the world and God's creations.

I believe the ability to see the good in each experience that happens to us lifts us and allows us to be happy no matter the trial we may face or the complexity of our situation.  I believe strongly we can find great happiness even in the worst of times if our perspective is looking for the good.  I want to clarify this a little.  I know many people that suffer from depression and other hormonal imbalances.  Does perspective get rid of their issues, most certainly not.  Does it relieve the pain of a loved one that dies, no!  Can it help us as we work through the troubles we face to find joy in the sorrow....  I believe it can.

I testify that none of us on this earth were sent here to fail.  We already made the decision to follow God before we came to this earth and we all wanted to become like him.  We must learn ourselves to understand what this means, and how we draw closer to God as individuals.  I have had enough experiences in my life that I can testify that Christ atoned for us so we can become like God, That God and Christ are alive and care for us.  This is not a belief, this is a knowledge.  I know that all of us can attain this knowledge for ourselves, by approaching God and in the sincerity of our heart asking for His guidance.  He will give it to us.  He does answer prayers.  He wants us to know Him.  This is my testimony.  And I share it in Jesus Christs name, because he is the one who made it possible to become like He is and like God is.  All I have become I owe to Christ.

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