It happens annually. An old year departs, a new year begins. Resolutions are made, the New Years glasses are sported, the champagne flows, lips get puckered up, the ball drops and we get mindful of the year past. A time to remember the news events and the celebrities that died the previous year. A time to recall our own successes and failures as well as those we care about. And although we wish each other wonderful experiences throughout the approaching year we really don't nearly put as much mental effort into those conversations as we do into the recollecting of experiences past.

I would be hard pressed to believe any other creature that's ever evolved on this planet looks back into the past as much as humans do. Really. I suppose that would have something to do with the fact that humans are the only species to have developed a cerebral cortex of which the temporal lobe gives us higher functioning memory. It is the development of this cerebral cortex that has given man the intelligence (Oxymoron. I know... "human" intellegence?!) to become the dominating species he has become no doubt thanks to the higher memory. Much of everything we enjoy today is built on trial and error sure...  but the foundation of any endeavor it is the ability to remember to do that which gives one  the desired results one seeks. To do that which we consider successful. Which has made so many goods and services available to us today causing many of us to live a much easier life than the first of our kind. Sometimes? With all the rules, advertisements, protocols, laws, procedures and learning we have to remember today I'm amazed the hard drive of our brain isn't filled to capacity! And yet there's room for more. Any and all experiences... good, bad, exciting, boring, disappointing, satisfying, enraging, peaceful, happy or sad there's still room for more history!

We do not remember days...
We remember moments
        -Cesar Pavese 1908 - 1950

That being said we remember a lot. Certain occasions seem to call for sharing our memories of experiences past with others. Birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, parties, New Years. You share an outside summer time pit fire and a drink with someone? You're gonna hear and tell a story or two! But why don't we put that frontal lobe of our cerebral cortexes to use during these occasions? You know... That part of the brain involving decision making, problem solving and planning. It does seem easier to remember than to think ahead. There is that part where we really have no idea what's gonna happen next! Shouldn't there be a balance? Remembering the past, planning the future? What other than for necessities' sake are the occasions for looking forward?

Is all this remembering good?   You know as well as I do the pleasant times are more favorable for the recallectioning. (Yeah, my word!) I'm sure we probably share in that we have traumatic or embarrassing events in our lives we'd just as soon forget. Some have been forgotten yes. Others? Well... all ya can do is say "dammit!" when they pop up. All that we perceive in this life is stored up there in that brain or ours and whether good or bad... as long as ya don't get stuck in the past, our memories can serve us well. If the learning from the experience is properly received and remain  mindful of it. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Everyone wants right results, we all want that which is profitable to us. Why are we mindful of that which is profitable? To experience the joy and satisfaction that's available that only comes with true profit! Or in another way,... so we don't overheat our brains tryin' ta figure this life out! Relax! It may be a mystery to some but the instructions for what is truly profitable for man is found in the scriptures of God's Word. What is it that God's Word says is profitable for us?

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: II Timothy 3:16

Anytime you come across the word "all" in the Holy Bible you have to stop and think. Is it all without exception or all with distinction? In this case it's all without exception. ALL Scripture... every bit of it... "is given by inspiration of God". Those six words in English is actually one word in the Greek text. Correction. Five words. The word "is" is in italics in the KJV. One of the great benefits of studying the Scriptures from the King James Version is that in most cases (not all) whenever the translator added a word to the original he italicized it to make the reader aware that word or words were added. Sometimes languages just don't mesh together well. So... you can leave out an italicized word in God's Word and know you haven't touched the "original" text. Therefore, the phrase "given by inspiration of God" is actually the word "theopneustos" which more accurately translated would be "God breathed". There is great significance to this word theopneustos to the biblical research student in that this is the only occurrence of this word in all the scriptures. And! There's a figure of speech here. God uses figures of speech throughout His Word to get our attention, to highlight that which is important. God is God. He is Spirit. A spirit has no need to and isn't designed to breathe. This is in fact the figure condesencio. God bringing, or condescending Himself to a human level. (Kinda reminds ya how God "breathed" life into Adam, huh?!) God "breathed" ALL scripture. Personally? Knowing God's patience with man? It was probably more like a sigh! Or! Resuscitation!

Why? Why did God breathe all scripture? The rest of the verse tells us why. "... and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." All God breathed scripture is profitable. Profitable for what? For doctrine, for reproof, for correction. The doctrine is the  knowledge. Or the right path to take. The reproof is for showing the biblical student where he got off the correct knowledge, or off the right path. The correction is for showing how the disciple gets back to the knowledge, get him/her back on track! This doctrine, reproof and correction is the  "instruction in righteousness", the instructions on how to live life properly for the believer. The way the Author of all life intended it for people! This doctrine contains that which God would have us, His people, to know that we may believe properly, rightly, righteously! He informs us through his rightly divided Word that His rightly divided Word is Truth. It is in this Truth we learn of the spirit realm that we cannot register via the 5 senses and how "The Prince of The Devils" has rather successfully thrown a blanket of darkness over the light of The Truth to the world lest droves of people he has control over would flock to living life according to the standard the originator of life always intended life to be. And make no mistake! This pack of devil spirits has been very successful! There is so much confusion, mistrust and unbelief concerning the one, true God even among most of God's chosen it's mind boggling! Their (the devil spririts') success is dependent on how well God's Word is twisted and/or rejected in any category of life in the minds of... well... everybody! We will never know it all in this life but God has made his Word available to everyone. And love we manifest covers a MULTITUDE of sins! His chosen ones discipline themselves to this doctrine, this right believing. The disciple accepts the doctrine and the reproof and correction when needed, as a child would from a loving father realizing his relationship with his father may have been damaged a bit but all is forgiven and their full sharing, their fellowship is once again restored and available. It is in this doctrine... and in this  reproof... and in this correction... that gives the disciple God's instruction in righteousness, or right living.  And! The ability to live love!

I'd say that's pretty profitable! Worth remembering! And it can make remembering those traumatic and/or embarrassing periods a little easier to take!

Remember the good times. Learn from the good and the bad. It can drive ya nuts all this remembering the past and planning the future as we are designed to do so, but don't blow a gasket.  Just remember...

Recommended Video: Need To Know: An Interview with Barbara Strauch 8:19

Watch Interview with Barbara Strauch on PBS. See more from Need to Know.
Middle-Age Brains Are Awesome

Related Links
Barbara Strauch      The Human Brain    The Biggest Little List Of Oxymorons Online
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- Published 01/03/2012