Memories have a distinct way of creeping up on you when you least expect it. It can be as simple as a familiar song or aroma to a special person or place. Instantly, you are whisked away to that moment when you met your soul mate, published your first novel, or brought a child into the world. You never want to leave those magical moments behind because your entire life is encompassed around them.

That happens to me more times than not. Often, I find myself reminiscing about the good old days when I was younger and more carefree. I begin thinking about the bonds that were formed over the years with loved ones and friends who have since passed on. I remember the challenges that were overcome, milestones that were reached, and events that touched my life.

At times, I am afraid to face a future without their friendly faces and unique personalities to keep me comfort. After wet tears form on my seasoned face, I am hit with the harsh reality that those youthful days have turned into nostalgic memories now. I also wonder how the future will compare with the past. On gloomy days, my mind starts blocking out the present and focuses more on happier times. Like a favorite story, I can visualize specific memories like they happened yesterday because of their unchanged predictability.

I can hear God telling me that if I live in the past, I will never completely grow or experience a fruitful life in the future. As precious as memories are, their value will grow more meaningful when I faithfully follow God in the present. Life is a continuous journey filled with unexpected twists and turns, unexplained surprises and challenges. Like the author who composes novel, he or she will only become more successful by writing more stories. Instead of reveling in the growth of one achievement, why not make them everyday?

Many times, we are afraid to explore opportunities beyond our learning capacity, for fear of disappointment or failure. As a result, we become complacent in comfortable routine and are not willing to expand our capabilities. Then, when those golden opportunities pass us by, we regret the chances we should have taken by not opening fate's door.

Many times this results from a lack of divine faith and trust in God. Yet, he is the very one who will always protect and guide us along life's path. I can remember many times throughout my life when I felt sad and empty after a relationship had ended. At first, I would feel hurt and rejected. Then over time, my heart would heal and I would be able to move forward. For no matter how wonderful or painful relationships are, they teach us to grow stronger emotionally and spiritually. I firmly believe that every experience shapes us into the persons God wants us to be.

Memories serve a definite purpose in one's life. They are like rungs on a never-ending ladder; one leads to the next until we take our final step into eternity. It can be difficult sometimes, especially when tragedy or a crisis strikes. We begin to question whether life will ever return to normal. Yet deep within our souls, a divine strength exists to sustain and lead us home again. Sometimes, it takes a long time to find our way, but when we do, we are able to live life more fully.

So, look ahead and find ways of making memorable moments each day. Instead of choosing one rose, why not plant a blossoming garden. Life will be more meaningful tomorrow when you take the time to walk beside God today.

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