There is a time to move on with our lives

Bill Tinsley
 |  Abilene Reporter-News

We have moved a number of times in our life. 

When we first married, we easily fit all our possessions into the back seat of a 1960 Chevy Impala. But after raising three children, and making multiple moves in Texas, Minnesota, back to Texas and eventually to Colorado, our minimal belongings grew.

We accumulated a significant stash of stuff.

We had unopened boxes that followed us to and fro about the earth, still sealed after several decades. We threw away dozens of trash cans full of junk. We gave truckloads to Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity. We hauled boxes to our kids for a garage sale.

Still, we had stuff. 

But some things attach themselves and will not let go. We still have boxes labeled “keepsakes and junk” that hold tangible memories:  he roller skates I had when I was a kid (the four-wheel kind with a skate key to clamp them to the soles of my shoes); a baseball I wrapped with electric tape when I couldn’t afford a new ball, my daughter’s hand-scribbled cards signed with x’s and o’s, the shoeshine kit my son made for me; my wife’s wedding dress in a box that has remained sealed for more than 50 years.

Multiply these a hundred-fold and you get the idea. 

What do you do? You rent a storage room, I guess.

Memories are good. They give us identity, and I feel pleasure when I handle these tokens of by-gone days.  The reminders of my childhood and youth make me thankful. They give me courage and hope for more to come.

It is important to “move on.” 

We must always be ready to read the next chapter yet to be written. When I was 18, I sold family Bibles in Alabama and bought one for myself. That huge Bible became a depository for keepsakes from our children and grandchildren. It overflowed into a “family Bible box.” I pulled out family Bible tokens and shared them with our grandchildren this Christmas as we do every year. Our youngest granddaughters read the Luke 2 story of Jesus’ birth. I  added their names by the verses they read, the same place where I wrote their parent’s names when they learned to read. We have one more grandchild whose name will be added next year when he starts first grade.  

Memories are not just about the past. They anticipate the future. I suppose that is why we turn the page and start a new calendar, so that we can always be reminded there is a future yet to be written. 

Maybe this is what the Apostle Paul was thinking when he said, “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14).

Email Bill Tinsley, who reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective, at