THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
One of the books that I keep going back to it from time to time is The Pilgrim’s Progress. I find the book like a well whose water never runs dry. It is a fiction written by John Bunyan about a man namely Christian who leaves everything and everyone—including his family—behind for the call of God to Terrestrial City, a symbol of Heaven. In his journey Christian encounters not only situations that obstruct his way but also people who try to dissuade him. However, every time he is too weak or almost led astray, some will come to encourage and show him the way, one of them is Hopeful.
In one of his conversations with Christian, Hopeful shares about his past and sinful life and how he began to be aware of his sins. The truth is he did not really want to remember his sins, but he says, “it would come into my mind again.” Hopeful remembers that the awareness of his sinfulness came to him when he met a righteous man in the street, when he saw someone reading the Bible, when he thought of dying, etc. Looking back, he now knows that it was the work of God that brought these sins to remembrance.
We do not like to remember painful experiences but what we do not want to remember is those experiences that bring us shame. We can still talk about our failures albeit difficult, but we can hardly talk about things which we are ashamed of. So, what we usually do is we try erase them from our memory bank and hope that no one—including we—would ever find out. But we as we all know it too well, it just does not work. These beasts are still well and alive.
From time to time God brings into remembrance our shameful past. He does that not to embarrass us but rather to keep us from falling into sin. To remember our sins is truly Our Father’s blessed gift.