Memorial Day has got me thinking... Memorial Day was originally known as "Decoration Day," as that was the day that Ladies' Societies decorated the graves of Civil War soldiers. In 1971, Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday.
Veterans' Day, by contrast, celebrates all veterans, whereas Memorial Day honors those who died in service to our country. Veterans' Day was originally Armistice Day, which honored World War I. In 1938, it became a national holiday, and it gradually came to honor veterans of all wars.
There's also Pearl Harbor Day. And Patriot Day, which commemorates September 11. And, of course, Independence Day. Flag Day, Columbus Day, Arbor Day, Washington's Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr Day.... all days designed to keep us from forgetting someone, or something, significant.
We Christians have a few of our own, too. Christmas and Easter, of course, celebrating Jesus' birth and resurrection, respectively. Good Friday is not so much a celebration as a commemoration, but just as precious to us.
And many of these days have special celebrations or traditions, all a part of the remembering. Sometimes I think that the most valuable part of days like these, are the opportunities to share history and heritage with our children. But it's also important not to underestimate the importance of reminding ourselves of things we shouldn't forget. What are the spiritual milestones in your life? Perhaps the day you realized that you needed a Savior? Lots of friends of mine know the exact date that they gave their life to Him; that might be something for you to celebrate on a regular basis. How about a time when you were overwhelmed with His goodness? Or a day when you felt His strength getting you through something you could never get through on your own? I will never forget the first time I went snorkeling. I have never been more appreciative of God the Creator, as I was that morning. I also remember vividly a very painful day in my life, when I had been walking through a difficult trial for far too long, and I begged Him to bring to an end that chapter of my life ~ and He said "no." The memory of that day, though painful, reminds me of His wisdom and that His perfect timing is very often different from ours.
In Joshua chapter 4, God instructed the Israelites to set up stones as a reminder of what He'd done. These were designed to prompt questions from Israelite children. Do you need reminders in your life? You have plenty to think about every day, from morning to night ~ but what are you forgetting? Choose reminders for yourself. A post-it note on the bathroom mirror with a verse that's significant to you... an article of clothing in a favorite color can remind you of some way He has brought you joy... a sympathy card from a friend can be put on display to remind you of how God brought you through a difficult time. The choices are many, and there's no right or wrong ~ the key is to remember.
~ "Remember well what the Lord your God did" ~