/ May 2015 - Vol. 79
Reflection on the “Importance of Taking Time
to Build Special Memories”
Veronica has often encouraged me to invest
time in the ‘building of memories’ both with our
grandchildren and with the children who were born and
grew up in our community, the Lamb of God. And I have
made it a regular practice.
Over the years I have been blessed on many occasions
when I have talked with the community children. Many of
the older ones now in their teenage years, remind me of
times I have spent with them from many years ago - now
forgotten by me - that were special for them. Things
such as my skipping the main community gathering talk to
visit with the children in their community ministry
program and to take an interest in what they drawing or
doing at the time.
Veronica and I have also offered to take the children
out for a special treat (with their parents permission
beforehand), such as an Oasis Night Rally - which then
always somehow ends on the journey back home with a stop
at McDonalds for a final treat! The children remember
these kinds of things, and they really count.
A few weeks ago was another memory building opportunity
with my twenty-one year old granddaughter Clarice. A few
years ago, I started taking Clarice [followed then by
the other grandchildren - Nathaniel, and
Sebastian] trekking with some pretty good climbing in
the Hanmer ranges, followed by some other trips in the
Southern Alps. My grandchildren have grown up
appreciating the awesome grandeur of God’s creation. And
now that Clarice has a Degree in Geology with
distinction in Volcanology, to whom does she turn to ask
help in climbing the Ngaruahoe Volcano, an active
volcano of 2,300 meters? Yes - me. And yes with a fifty
year age gap.
On a recent trip we had a wonderful time together as we
took three days up on the Volcanic Plateau. We trekked,
climbed, ate and talked, talked and talked together.
There was no generational gap or awkwardness. Clarice
just kept on reminding me of the memories of her early
childhood. Maybe she was unaware that this three days
together was building another whole set of memories. It
cost me a significant amount of money for flights and
accommodation, and three days of time from my busy
schedule. But my reward vastly exceeds the cost.
The climb up Ngaruahoe is brutal and exhausting. Eleven
years ago I did it base to base in nine hours and I lost
one toe nail coming down! This time it took ten hours
and it looks like two nails will go. Maybe more. But
that cost is well worth the raw exposure to the wonders
of creation, the marveling at the hand of God, the
memories that will establish well into the future.
If you are a dad, or like me a granddad, go and build
some ‘special memories.’ If you are serving in community
leadership why not go take time to ‘connect’ with the
children in your local community group and take an
interest in them as individuals. It doesn’t all need to
be the responsibility of the children’s ministry team.
We are a community, a family of families, building a way
of life as a people.
Foley is the senior coordinator of the Lamb
God Community. He and his wife Veronica
live in Christchurch, New Zealand.