If you’re like me, you fall asleep to the images of many memories. Some of them bad. Some of them good. But as you are drifting off to sleep, you stroll through hallways and hallways of memories, winding and unwinding the history of your life.
Have you ever had a memory painful enough that you had to physically react? You either had to say or do something mid-thought to get your mind off it? Maybe somebody looked at you strangely in that moment, because it was obvious you were somewhere else and dealing with an invisible battle. These things happen.
Last night as I was falling asleep, I practicing intentional forgiveness. I know we are all sinners. I want to trust God more. So as I went through the memories, or the memories of that day, or the random thoughts I have for the future, I began to think of who I could forgive. Who do I still think of negatively, because of my unforgiveness? It kind of felt like clearing out the hard drive on your computer. There were all these bits and pieces stored in places I hadn’t thought about, but have to stumble past day by day as I wander down those hallways. You’d think I would notice, but as a human, I didn’t.
I forgave myself at least equal to how much I forgave others. I prayed for people and wished them well, because I didn’t want to harbor the resentment. So help me God, if this habit just becomes some convenient blog post, I will have missed the point of the power I had in those moments, of releasing debts. I will have completely forgotten the strength in caring for people more than you want to think poorly of them.
Even if you don’t call it God, this takes a lot of faith. I believe in Jesus, and in the example he sets of caring for others when it’s mortally inconvenient. I cant change time, but the choice is mine in that I don’t want to think badly of everyone. Being more aware of my arrogance and my own sin has made it a lot easier to forgive others.
I want this to become a nightly habit, in the place of going to bed rumination that was sometimes scary. The devil tries to co-opt our fear in order to divide us, but the strength of God gives us a better purpose. I can forgive people who may not even know they were forgiven. This is so much of a better use of my time than wondering what could have been.