One of the current fixations of our culture is our love of photographs and videos. We have gone, in a short century or so, from never having any photographs or videos to believing that we must have them. We take photographs at every birthday party, every family get-together, every child's play. You almost cannot watch a school play for all the parents and their cameras. 

We take all these images and, in the old days, we put them in boxes. Now, we put them on our computers. The goal was to one day put them in photo albums (or print them) but almost no one ever actually does that. We have boxes and boxes of photographs that we never look at. Now, we also have videos, Betamax videos and VCR videos. Eventually, we are told, we will have to pay someone to transfer all of these (at a fee of course) onto DVDs, which we are told will be out of date pretty soon and we can move them to something else. Then, we will have shelves of videos and boxes of photographs. Why?

Well, we are told that these things are "memories." When there is a fire and these things are destroyed, the news reports are always about the family "losing all their memories," which sounds a little extreme. A friend and church member, some years ago, took a trip to Europe. When he and his wife returned, I asked him about the trip. He said it was wonderful, except that their film had been lost on the return trip. He was very upset about what he called "coming back without any memories." 

I told him that he had not lost any memories. He lost only photographs. Memories are things inside you, thoughts and ideas and images of what happened before. Photographs are not memories. 

As the years pass in your family, in your marriage, be very careful about the memory game. Photographs are not memories. You have real memories of everything memorable that ever happened to you (that's why we call these things "memorable"). The other things are not important. It is not important for you to have a video of your child's third-grade Christmas show. It is not important for you to have photographs of your child's first birthday party. For all the years of human history, people lived without such trappings, being satisfied with the memories they had of their lives. 

When you and your husband are old together, you will not sit around looking at pictures, but you will spend your time making new memories. You will talk about your daughter's youth and your son's childhood, but each day will still be a new day. 

The goal for today is not to make photographs or videos or to create more stuff to put in your closet somewhere. The goal is to live today as a day of glory and love and service. The goal is not to create some record you can look at in some future time, but to live today as a godly wife, loving her husband, loving her children, and loving her God. 

When I see the boxes of photographs that we have, I have two thoughts. One is a thought of how much money we spent on these things that we never look at. But the other is the pleasure of knowing that our real lives, the lives we live each day, have been so full that we have never been able to put these things in albums at all. 

My photographs are in boxes. My memories are real and vibrant and part of my life. It is a difference worth remembering.

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