Keeping a Clear Rearview

Even though the weather was beautiful today and the Mrs. & I were able to spend some quality time together, there were still a few projects that needed to be done.  One of those was to install the replacement reverse camera on my Honda Accord (fun project… I know). 

Over the past few months, the view on the dashboard screen had become increasingly cloudy until it eventually was just black.  Sure, you could still see the guidance lines, but everything else was dark forcing me to resort to the old fashioned way of backing up my car; turning my head. 

I know.  I can hear it now, ‘Oh no Brad, you may have to look back when going in reverse like they taught you in Driver’s Ed!…’  I’ll admit, it was a throw-back to the old days when I didn’t have that convenient camera to rely on keeping me from running over someone, or into something, I shouldn’t.  

Thanks to YouTube and eBay, I was able to get the OEM part for a fraction of the cost and install it myself within only a few short minutes.  That first look into the dashboard screen was nothing less than nirvana!  

Without even realizing it, I had become totally dependent on that little camera’s view behind me.  I realized just how much the rearview is crucial to the safety of all those around me.  Though it’s a small piece of equipment, it makes a big difference in my ability to drive safely.  

It occurred to me that, when our view of the past becomes cloudy, or even forgotten, our future safety can be endangered.  Whether that view of the past includes things that were painful or joyful, they can all teach us something which will help us to become better, and safer, as we move through our lives.

It may be the memory of a parent, or grandparent, doing something silly, teaching us to put the lid back on the milk carton, or just the loving care of a friend. All of them accumulate into who we are now.  Rather than putting the past completely behind us, if we allow ourselves to learn from, not only the good memories, but the mistakes made by us, and others, seeing the good even in the bad, we will be better for it. 

Hopefully, your rear camera is clear tonight.  If not, I encourage you to be open to re-evaluating some of those things you’ve put aside from the past to see where you may find a good lesson to glean from, or, to see where your vision may be clouded from unforgiveness.   Forgiveness for those who’ve hurt us in the past will help open the door for us to new relationships, peace of heart, and fulfillment.  It will help us to keep that rearview clean and clear making the road ahead safer for ourselves, and, for others…     

Love Always…

The Old Fan Reminding Me of The Simple Things

By the desk in my office I have an old red fan with one of those metal ‘covers’ made specifically to be a hazard to anyone who accidentally (or not so accidentally) sticks their finger in there while it’s running.  And, I will admit, I have done that before, and it did not feel good.

What’s cool about those old fans is that they have an art deco style and bring to mind memories of the old private detective movies I used to enjoy watching as a kid.  You won’t find them around stores these days, however; there are too many injury lawyers out there ready to sue after the first scratch of the blade. 

I occasionally use my fan in the summer when the heat is too much even for the air conditioner, but most of the time, it sits on the shelf along with other memorabilia from times past.  I like it because it reminds of the ‘Good ‘ole days’ and helps to give my office that ‘Look’.

As I sit at my desk tonight looking over at that old red fan and listening to Glenn Miller playing in the background, the Mrs is in the kitchen baking cupcakes for our grandson’s birthday party tomorrow and I’m reminded of God’s blessings over the years that have led me to where I am today.   Even though the road has been full of potholes, sharp curves, roadblocks, and frightening moments when it seemed as though there was no way forward, the road today seems much different; It’s more like a wide-open West Texas road with plenty of sunshine ahead. To look back at the challenges past only brings thankfulness as the pain that came with them grows further and further away.

So, tonight here’s to the simple things in life that remind us how blessed we truly are.  It may not be an old red fan sitting on the shelf next to your desk, but if it takes you back to a simpler time and helps you appreciate what you have today, then it’s a good thing and something to hold onto.  Because, we won’t be around forever and the longer we live, the more we’ll learn to appreciate the simpler things of life as it’s they which help us to hold onto the good memories and to let go of the past pains until they’re just a distant memory in the rearview mirror…

Love always

Lost Memories Found

This week brought back a lot of memories of my childhood. Many of which I hadn’t even thought about for years. My dad found a box in his attic in South Carolina where he had kept some of my memorabilia while I was moving all over California. 

He asked if I’d like the box sent to me not really knowing what was in it and I almost told him to trash it thinking it was just some old college books and papers.  We decided that it was probably better if he sent them to me just to be sure there wasn’t something in the box I may want and boy am I glad we did.

The box arrived a few days ago (Dad must have sent it express). When I opened it up, I found a bag full of memories my mother had given me years ago that was put away for safekeeping in that box.  As I pulled each piece from the bag, I began to realize just how much my parents loved me back then and how sentimental they were. 

Mom had saved every report card, teacher note, school picture, newspaper clippings, graduation cards, report cards, class photos, and even my class letters.  To top that, my baby book, baby announcements, baby pictures, and baby journal were all kept safely in that bag.  It was truly one of the best gifts I could have been given and I am so grateful we didn’t agree to trash the box and thankful for my dad having kept it safe all of these years!

I doubt many people can open a drawer and look at their kindergarten class picture, their sixth grade report card, their school crossing certificates, and nearly every school picture ever taken of them like it was yesterday.   Truthfully, I don’t know what I’m going to do with them other than save them to show the kids, and grandkids, one day. But, just knowing they’re there is special.

More important to me than all the memories, is the reminder that both my dad and Mom loved me enough to save those memories.  It reminds me of the show, ‘This is Us’ that the Mrs. and I FINALLY decided to watch.  We’re starting with season one and have already had to wipe the tears from our eyes more than once!  

Tonight, you may not have those memories of your past all in a drawer where you can look at them when you want. They may have been thrown away long ago because they were too painful, but know that, no matter what memories you have of your early years, you have always been loved by a Heavenly Father. 

His love is eternal, and He has always been there in your life.  Not only that, He will never leave you or abandon you.  His acceptance of you is 100% because of Jesus and He will never let you down even if our natural parents do.  Most of all, He can make those broken memories new again and help to restore what was lost long ago because that’s just what He does…

Love Always…