The warning was on all of the local news channels throughout the evening: Extreme heat wave, use caution while engaging in outdoor activities, high humidity levels, dangerous conditions for the elderly and young children, cooling centers are being opened for those lacking air conditioning. I’m amazed at what can trigger my memory banks to instantly travel back in time, and to me, cooling centers equal great memories! Seriously!
In the 1980’s, when our family was young, we did not enjoy the comfort of in-house air conditioning . We had recently purchased our first home, and AC was a luxury that the budget could not tolerate. Summer nights in our little nest were hot, sticky, and sleepless at times, with rotary fans running at high speed in a futile attempt to circulate the oppressive air and cool everyone down. But if those overwhelmingly oppressive days landed on a weekend, we had a plan of action, as a special outing to our favorite cooling center was orchestrated. We packed up our gang of little ones into the car (also not air conditioned) and began our trek to the Boardman Mall in Ohio, our oasis. Ah, air conditioning! And window shopping! And fountains! And if everyone was on their best behavior, we would stretch that weekly budget to its limit and buy pizza… and ice cream… and BALLOONS at the local Chuck E Cheese! Ah, those wild-n-crazy Winkles! And then, after an evening of fun, a herd of pizza-packed-and-pooped-out children, accompanied by a myriad of balloons, would scrunch back into our steamy old car and we would find our way back home. What glorious memories were made on those squelching summer days!
Praise God for humble beginnings and for the rich memories they hold. My heart is burdened for today’s young families, pressured by a non-stop social media, egged on by our materialistic culture, encouraged to succeed financially at all costs regardless of time sacrificed, anxious to have it all as soon as they cross the threshold of adulthood. Don’t fall into that got-to-have-it-now trap; contentment does not reside within its borders, and never will. I don’t regret those years of struggle, of budgeting, of not always having what we desired, and yes, of sweating in a hot house, for those years built up in us a firm foundation of contentment. If we are part of His family, God will supply all of our needs, He promises that, and He will NEVER fail in His commitment. But He doesn’t always supply our wants. Sometimes waiting is involved, sometimes no is involved. But I have found this profoundly true, the memories created on those simple excursions of long ago far exceed any monetary value.
So as I sit here with misty eyes, my heart abounds in thankfulness as I recall to how richly God has blessed my life with some simple memories that are worth their weight in gold. Take the time soon to go out and make some lasting memories of your own with the ones you love. That is an investment that pays huge dividends!
I Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
Father, continue to impress that thought upon my heart. Thank you for the struggles of youth, for Your bountiful blessing, and especially for wonderful memories of Your grace. Help us to always find contentment in all that You have given us.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-456-62bbfeb2a3faf' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=456&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-456-62bbfeb2a3faf' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-456-62bbfeb2a3faf' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>