"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Ten Years

The other day, I went to see the movie The Vow (yes, I know, cheesefest, please don't judge me :-P). It actually was better than I expected, and gave me a lot to think about. The basic premise of the film is that this young couple get into a terrible car accident and the woman – Paige – ends up with a brain injury that causes amnesia. She cannot remember anything from the last five years of her life. Unfortunately, those five years encompass the time she met, fell in love with, and married her husband; he then tries to remind her of who she is and ease her into her life. Here's the kicker though: At some point before Paige met her husband, she went through a series of events that were a catalyst for her making some drastic changes. Because she cannot remember the events, she has no idea why she made those choices and she has trouble reconciling who she remembers being to the woman whose life she now leads. Sounds confusing? I'm trying to edit out anything that will wreck the movie if you're going to see it.

So, why is this important? It seems like there are people whose lives from early on follow a trajectory that does not veer off course. For those people, “losing” several years of memories would of course be disorientating, but the “new” life would feel “right” in some way, because it lines up with their expectations. My brother is one of those people. If he were to wake up tomorrow with no memory of the past 10 years, I do not think he would be shocked or surprised at his profession (lawyer), his friends (the same guys, basically), or his fiancĂ©e (because she is the sort of girl he has always preferred – and she's wonderful, by the way).

On the other hand, there are people like me. What stood out for me was the fact that Paige's transition is a little like mine. Ten years ago this very week, I found out my step-father was cheating on my mother. It pretty much threw my life into a tailspin which coloured the decisions I would make over the next few years, the most definitive years of my life. This experience drove me into the arms of the God that I had been rejecting and ignoring since I was a young teen. I can definitely imagine that if I were to have an accident today and wake up with my last memories being from January 2002, I would not recognize the person I am today, or understand the choices I have made.

The movie asks the question: If Paige never gets her memory back, will she eventually make the same choices and become the same person? It's an intriguing question. Although I want to avoid jumping into the whole free will debate, I do believe that I would choose God again and again, because I believe He chose me. But would I again choose all the big and little things that I love. I am pretty sure that 21-year-old me would be utterly shocked that I had, for example, taken up running and completed a half-marathon. What would I make of Gil, if I was still stuck in the mentality of my younger self?

While I have a tendency to mull over the past, I also want to think about the future. We are only a few weeks away from my 10th “spiritual birthday”. (I don't know the actual date, because I never wrote it down, but I because a Christian somewhere in late February/early March of 2002.) Where do I want to go in the next ten years, and who do I want to be? I'm not talking about practical goals like “Put X amount into my RSP” or “Take future kids to Disney World”, but rather: What spiritual groundwork do I have to lay so that ten years from now, I can look back and be pleased with where I ended up? What qualities do I want to ask God to sow into my life now so that in the future, I will reap the spiritual benefits?

What about you, readers? (That's assuming anyone is reading this :-D) Do you think that if you lost five or ten years of memories, you would recognize the person you are today? Was there a point when your life veered off of your familiar trajectory? Who do you want to be in ten years?

PS  When I hear "ten years", I always think of this crazy film clip.


  1. Maggie! You are right, that film clip IS crazy. Also, thanks for the 'food for thought'. I feel like I've been hearing bits of what you've said here a few times recently which makes me think I'm supposed to be learning something. Talk to you soon.

  2. Thanks for commenting Joy! I'm glad it was helpful to you. I find if I don't write down what I'm thinking and learning, I forget it all so quickly. :-(

    Hope to see you some time soon!