Bad memories are like lemons we drain for the juice then throw away. There’s no need keeping them around. Good memories, on the other hand, are like bowls of fruit in an oil painting that we hang on the walls of our minds and they bring us ongoing pleasure.
This week I’m going backward in time while on the campus of Columbia International University for three days of speaking engagements. I came here 39 years ago as a transferring sophomore, and this is where I made a series of decisions that I’ve never gotten over—and never wanted to. Here I gave my life to the Lord in commitment for Christian service. Here I was mentored and trained. Here I met my dear wife. Here I learned to study and teach the Bible. Here I learned about the Victorious Christian Life.
As I walk across campus, the memories are as fresh as they were nearly four decades ago. I almost feel like a student again, like I’ve never left. Even the smell of the administrative building and the chapel is strangely the same. Not an unpleasant smell, just distinctive. I can’t quite put my finger on it. Funny how some buildings have a particular smell.
As we grow older, it’s all right to discard the bad memories. Why keep them? But the good ones are fine to keep around. They provide a constant source of thanksgiving and serve as a prelude for the future. Here are some pics of my old dorm and of my old dorm room. Fortuately the student who lives there now was skipping class when I dropped by, so he hastily made his bed and let me snap some pictures. That’s my old desk where I first learned to study the Bible. The bottom bunk was mine. The upper bunk belonged to Bill McCoy and the third bed in room was occupied by Don Morgan. The three of us had quite a time. The office picture is where I first met Katrina. Frank Fry introducted us. The last pic is of today’s chapel service, when was speaking from Exodus 1.