I was thinking about memorials the other day, especially since my travels took me by a couple of cemeteries full of them. I began to think of several memorials we have in the US. There is the Vietnam War memorial, the Korean War memorial, WWI and WWII memorials and countless others.
There are a few things I started to see in common with most memorials. They tend to mark significant battles and they cause us to recall specific events. Then of course, I began to wonder why is it that you don’t see many people on the weekends visiting your local cemetery. I mean that’s why the tombstones are there, so one can go and reflect on the individuals who have gone before us.
Then it hit me – we don’t like to go through struggles. None of us would raise our hand and willingly say let me endure pain and suffering. In fact, we avoid pain and suffering at all costs usually. And, should something remind us of it, we will tend to avoid it too. That’s why there are not many going to the graveyards on the weekends, when we’d rather forget and please our selves instead. However, those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it (that’s a different subject for a different blog).
While memorials may make us think of the pain and suffering heroic individuals endured and the fierce battles they fought, they should also remind us of victories won. I guess it’s easy to forget this, when the ones who survived and were part of the victory have passed on, because now all we have is silent reminders. But I want to encourage you to go back to those memorials (either physically or mentally) and specifically think about the victories that were won, the liberties enjoyed and the hope gained because of those events.
When you do, you will find renewed strength and vigor to face the challenges of life. I know we will all face battles of our own and we will all endure pain and suffering in some form or another, so we all need memorials in our lives. We need something to remind us of the battles we have won and the times we have overcome. As long as we live here on this earth, we will continue to fight the fight but we can fight a little harder when we look back and see that if victory came once, it can come again.
As we approach Easter, we are reminded that the Creator of the Universe put on a garment of skin and walked among us, however, He was crucified and rejected by mankind. The enemy (satan) would like us to focus on death and loss by propping up crucifix memorials around us. But, God would like us to focus on the victory of the empty tomb. He has won the victory over death, hell and the grave and given us a memorial each year as a reminder that we too can celebrate resurrected life, if we have sold out to Him.
I encourage you set up memorials of what God has done in your life: keep a journal of answered prayers, post pictures of loved ones, and tell others how they inspire you but most of all show love to encourage others along the way!