I had the privilege this past week of watching for the second time one of the most intense and well-made movies I have ever seen, Christopher Nolan's Memento. The movie follows the story of Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), a man who is unable to develop new memories.
During a brutal attack on his wife, Leonard suffered a head injury and though he can remember everything before the incident, he now suffers from short-term memory loss and is unable to remember anything for more than a few minutes. He brings order to his life through the use of Polaroid pictures, notes and tattoos.
In order to bring purpose to his life, he spends his time trying to track down his wife's killer. Since he is unsure who he can trust, Leonard relies heavily on these notes and pictures that he has written to himself. But the brilliance in the movie is found in its complicated story-telling. There are dual story lines going on as most of the movie is told in chronologically reverse order whereas another story line is told chronologically. It begins with the end and ends with the beginning. Fascinating movie making!
But as I neared the end of this viewing, I came to the realization of how often I am like Leonard. I, too, suffer from short-term memory loss when it comes to God's provision. I often forget the various ways that God has come through in the past and haphazardly rely on my own devices to make sense of life.
To be honest, the past handful months have not been real enjoyable for me. There have been a number of challenges in life and ministry that I frankly wish I didn't have to go through. Much of life has not been fun but it just happens to be the stage of life that God has me at right now. But as a believer in Christ, I know how the story ends. It's just the details that need to get worked out.
I think back a few years ago to a similar period in life when I was dealing with some disappointment and hurt. I didn't understand why God had taken us through a bit of a desert experience. But I can understand it now. He allowed us to go through that season in order to deepen our faith and to prepare us for what He had in store for us down the road. I'm thankful for that difficult time because I feel like it's prepared me for what we are going through now. I'm able to weather this storm because of how I've seen God come through before.
In the midst of difficult times it is so easy for me to forget the many times that God has answered prayers, met needs and provided what was needed at just the right moment. He is the director of my life and yours and He knows the script. We are part of a divine drama where Jesus is the lead and we are just bit players. This story involves good and evil, joy and sorrow and a cosmic conflict played out for thousands of years. I know how the story ends. I just hope I don't forget that.