In Nathaniel Philbrick’s book, Mayflower, he described a time when the early Pilgrims were exploring the southern New England area in the summer of 1621. They came across circular foot-deep holes in the ground. From the Indians they had befriended they learned these holes where dug when “any remarkable act” had occurred. As he describes, “It was that persons responsibility to maintain and inform fellow travelers of what once had happened at that particular place.” The Indians dug these memory holes so “that as a man travelleth his journey will be less tedious by reason of historical discourses that will be related to him” as quoted by Edward Winslow, one of the Pilgrims on this inland expedition.
As I read about those “memory holes” I couldn’t help but be reminded of Psalm 84. Here the Psalmist says “Blessed are those whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass thru the Valley of Baca (Valley of Weeping) they make it a spring.” Those traveling thru that place would dig wells for others to be refreshed when they find themselves in that same dark place. The Psalmist goes on and says the pilgrims would go from “strength to strength” begin encouraged as the travel.
In the Book of Joshua, the Children of Israel were told to build a “memorial to the LORD” after they crossed the Jordan River. The memorial was made of twelve stones and it was to serve as a reminder for coming generations of what God had done for them – stopping up the Jordan River allowing Israel to cross on dry land.
Whether it’s a pile of stones or a hole dug in the ground, we need these type or reminders in our life. Items that remind us of something God has done in our life. These are good for our memory of God’s work in our life, but they also serve to let others know what “remarkable act” occurred.
I tend to make many notes in my personal study Bible. Many times, I have read a passage in my Bible and have been encouraged by something I wrote many weeks, months or years before. Those personal memorials have been helpful.
It might be something that you own that brings back a memory of how God worked in your life or worked in the life of something in your family. It might be a family story that is told at holiday times or family reunions. Do whatever you can do to remind yourself and/or those around you of how God worked in your life. Tell stories, look at pictures, read from an old Bible – just set up those markers, dig those “memory holes.”
Maybe it’s time for you to buy a shovel…and dig a hole.
Blessings My Friend,