My kids are always asking me why we talk about history so much. They say, "This already happened! Why do we need to talk about things that happened a long time ago?!" I tell them that everything we have and do today is affected by what has already taken place. We can't have clear direction for our lives until we understand and process where we've been. We say we shouldn't live in the past meaning we shouldn't dwell on sorrow, pain, or our mistakes. I agree, but with each passing moment history is in the making. The choices we make each day will affect tomorrow so we should live intentionally with this in mind. The future has never affected the past, but the past will always affect our future.
It is because of history that we celebrate anything. Holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and graduations are all a remembrance of the past that affects the present. Even the sad anniversaries or memorials are cause for celebration as we relish the wonderful moments and memories of precious lives being lived. History isn't stuck in the past. It is our foudation on which we build our lives with each passing day.
Most days I am reminded of God's sacrifice of his son that gives me freedom from my sin and eternal life. I am also often reminded of the fallen who have given me earthly freedom in this temporary existence and it is because of them I am able to write this without fear. As I reflect on this today, I hope to choose daily to not only exist in this world, but to truly LIVE in all freedoms and grace afforded me in a way that brings glory and honor to God because of these sacrifices. I hope to teach my children that while our past should not rule our future, their today will affect their tomorrow. Taking full advantage of all freedom, we should not see the past as a neglected wasteland; rather, we should use it as a springboard to really living for Christ in this broken world and not to merely exist in it.