April / May 2015 - Vol. 79

Ngaruahoe Volcanoe.

Reflection on the “Importance of Taking Time
to Build Special Memories

by Roger Foley
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.

Roger at Ngaruahoe

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.

Roger and granddaughter on Ngaruahoe

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.
Roger Foley is the senior coordinator of the Lamb of God Community. He and his wife Veronica live in Christchurch, New Zealand. 
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