I had the opportunity to travel alone, driving over 1100 miles, through the prairie and plains of South and North Dakota. I saw God's beauty all around me, the great vastness of land, the beauty of a sunset, the breathtaking wonder of the Badlands, to name a few. I was able to experience solitude, loneliness, reliance on God, silence, and me in a different way than I had in a long time. During this time, I drove through and stayed in four Indian Reservations, visited three Tribal Colleges, met so many relatives, created new friendships, and gained a refreshing of my soul. Along the way, I encountered many memorials to people, places, and events that hold significance to Indian people. I walked through cemeteries of my ancestors, honoring them and walking along the memorials that honored their sacrifice. They were there to remind us, never to forget.
There are many references in the old testament where God commands man to build a memorial, to create something that would help man to remember. The memorials were to help man remember what God has done. As man came upon the memorials, "that still stand to this day", man could see and remember what God had done for them, and in turn, man could remember who he was in God and to God. These memorials also helped man to remember his old struggles, his old defeats, and how God delivered him from these struggles. Memorials also reminded man how God lead him into what seemed to be moments of hopelessness and defeat, to help man realize the greatness and power of God, to build trust and reliance on the Creator of all, the Great I am, and not the weak egocentric self of man. Memorials also offered man a time to reflect, a time to be, a time to explore and evaluate self, a time to recommit to God in a personal and real manner. Memorials are what they mean to be, a reminder to remember.
You and I, Christian, are memorials. We are set upon this earth to remind those who see us what God has done in not only our lives, but in the lives of others. We are here to not only speak the words of redemption, mercy, grace, forgiveness, joy, peace and salvation, but to live the words we speak and to allow our appearance and our actions to show the words we speak. Each morning we arise, we must remind ourselves that we are not of this world, that we are not of man, that we are not to be of the creation, but that we are of God, to be of God, to show the world our Christ, to be Christ in this world, to show man the Creator. As you look into your mirror in the morning and see your reflection, remember that your are a memorial of the living and real God, of Christ himself, so that your family, your children, your spouse, your coworkers, your neighbors, and all those you encounter can look at you, a new and wonderfully made creation of the Creator, and remember the power, the love, the greatness of God.
God made me a memorial at age 12, and even though I forgot who I was as I approached adulthood, He reminded me twenty years ago, at 0930 hours, this very day, and I still stand as a memorial to this day, not about me, but about Him. Gods memorial in me is freely chipped away daily and passed on to those I encounter. This is God's mission for me, to create memorials as I walk this earth. Remember Christian, you are a memorial to Christ, to the living and real God. Remember who you are, remember your memorial, suit up in His armor as you walk this world, be the memorial you are created to be, and build memorials in all you encounter and where ever the Creators hand takes you.
(The writings in this post are random thoughts and observations and are NEVER intended as professional or personal advice. Take what works and leave the rest. For information on mental health and/or substance abuse help, visit http://www.rodneyvalandra.com and refer to the links page.)
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