Lunging from his stance, the young football player – himself a kicker and defensive end –lunged toward the football before it could be kicked into an afterpoint.
The opposing kicker’s leg touched ball, rising upward impacting the player in red’s helmet, knocking it off, leg soaring to drop a double blow on the now bare head on the way down to rest position.
This player in red was my son, a sophomore player. It took a couple of weeks, an inability to remember classroom content, an anxiety attack before a doctor trained to identify and treat concussions diagnosed his concussion.
Initially, they thought he’d miss the rest of the school year. They sent him to bed for 2 weeks – no t.v., no video games, no computer – no media. Just rest.
It was the best sleep he ever had, he said later.
It took him at least a month to make up the work he did for those two weeks of school with the concussion + the two weeks of school sleeping the concussion to healing.
Remembering was like a kick in the head.
A few weeks ago, he said, “I don’t remember much from before the concussion.”
My heart dropped to my toes.
Not remember much before your sophomore year, before rebellion kicks in – all the sweet memories, the innocent times, all the love we had to give – living without those memories must be bleak. Dark. Lonely – not remembering the love before the rebellion of youth.
Being the problem solver, the fixer – I decided to create a 30 days of memories. Then, knowing me like I know me – I knew it would take a few months for this to steep in my mind – this vintaging of memories.
As the 30 Days of Memory Project (see – now it’s in caps so it’s almost official, almost at kick off now) – I thought how hard it must be, without a concussion, for a prodigal walking home to wade through the hard memories to find and pull close the sweet rememberings.
How many leave good memories un-vintaged because of the shame of rebellious memories, the hurt-inflicted-on-others memories? You pass those, in the walk back, taking ownership – before you walk far enough back to the good stuff.
Remembering the good-stuff, though, needs to be done. If he can’t do it right now, on his own, whether the concussion or the prodigal path stands in the way, I can help.
I can sort through and pull out the blessing rememberings. They were a gift to him – from God and his family.
Sometimes it takes others to help vintage the good rememberings.
The prodigals walk home retraces the steps that led him away. The retracing, the return is a coming face-to-face with regretful behavior, regretful memories. In remembering the regretful comes true repentance. With true repentance comes forgiveness, with forgiveness comes refreshing.
“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,”(Acts 3:19).
He will blot out your sin.
The blotting out of the sin will reveal the history of blessing.
It’s time to vintage the blessing memories.
True forgiveness does that – blots out the dark memories – sheds light on the blessing memories.