“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” — Romans 15:4 (ESV).
A recent Facebook post by a former student of mine led to responses from people of all ages. The post asked the following: “Without saying your age, what is something you remember from your childhood that a younger person would not understand?”
Many of the posts focused on memories before inventions made our life easier and technology ran amuck. There were mentions of telephone party lines, rotary dial phones and phones with cords that stretched across a room. Some mentioned specific stories associated with the history of these obsolete items.
One woman responded to the post with a story of being in labor with her first child. She was trying to call for help via a party line but a young neighbor wouldn’t hang up the phone, in spite of the nervous soon-to-be mother’s pleas.
Others in this small community mentioned places no longer in existence. Small restaurants, full-service gas stations, mom and pop grocery stores and other businesses that had closed their doors for various reasons—health, deaths, progress, the economy.
Mentions were made of events native to the local culture. One woman said, “I wasn’t raised here but it sure sounds wonderful! Mayberry USA.”
Another said, “Amazing how many generations of memories that are being shared here.”
One participant in the conversation said, “So neat...there are lots of older people in town who aren’t on Facebook. I wish there was some way we could get their feedback. I have enjoyed this so much.”
My former student replied, “Great idea. Let me know if anyone has a suggestion on how this could be done. We don’t want to lose our history.”
Generations of memories and history, if not written down, will be forgotten. God told His people, more than once, to write down His instructions for living a Godly life. Jeremiah 30:2 says, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Write all the words which I have spoken to you in a book.’”
Without the history of God’s people—their hopes, their failures, their victories—we wouldn’t have a blueprint of His truth. Writer Henry Hon wrote, “The Word of God does not just pass on information, knowledge and logic for the mind, but is also living and full of the Spirit.”
In addition to reading, studying and obeying God’s Word, it’s important for His people to share their testimony. However, if we don’t write it down, we will forget the truths we’ve learned on our faith journey.
Keeping a journal where we log the spiritual lessons we’ve learned, prayers that have been answered (and unanswered) and sharing how the Word of God has changed our lives is imperative for future generations.
Just as God commanded His followers to write down what He had spoken to them, we must record our faith walk for those who will follow, to provide encouragement on a journey that will be filled with roadblocks, U-Turns, disappointments and victories.
Round is a transplanted Okie, originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and former Jay High School instructor, who now resides in Grove. In addition to writing a weekly faith-based column, “A Matter of Faith,” Round spends time with her grandchildren, shooting photos, hiking, working in her yard, reading and studying the Word, volunteering at her church and going on mission trips. For more information, or to contact Round, persons interested may contact her at email@example.com.